SECURITY OF INFORMATION
Letter from the Chairman to Dr Denis MacShane
MP, Minister for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Thank you for the Explanatory Memorandum dated
9 January 2003 which Sub-Committee C considered at its meeting
on 16 January. The Sub-Committee have agreed to clear this item
but would like some further information with regard to this issue.
Can the Government be sure that this
agreement is not going to cause offence to the Americans, or indeed
the UK by making available intelligence which is the sole property
of the US, or US intelligence shared with the UK?
Does this agreement mean that some
intelligence made available to NATO will not be shared automatically
with the EU?
Why does Article 3 include the Council
and the Commission as parties to the Treaty; does Her Majesty's
Government consider Article 4(d) the solution to any confusion
between the institutions concerning information sharing?
Can we be certain that all countries'
vetting procedures are as vigorous as ours? Who will be conducting
the enquiries described in Article 7(b)?
20 January 2003
Letter from Denis MacShane to the Chairman
Thank you for your letter of 20 January requesting
further information on my Explanatory Memorandum on the Agreement
between the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
on security of information.
The Government is sure that this agreement will
not cause offence to the United States or the United Kingdom with
regard to intelligence sharing, as the United States is an active
member of NATO and has been fully involved in the negotiating
process. There is no question of United States' intelligence being
passed by NATO to the EU except when agreed by the United States.
Fundamental to this agreement is the principle
of originator control. No classified information, including intelligence,
will be transferred or exchanged without the consent of the originator.
Therefore national intelligence made available to either organisation
cannot be automatically shared with the other.
The Council and the Commission are not parties
to the agreement. The parties are NATO and the EU. The purpose
of Article 3(b) is to say which institutions of the EU may see
information, in the same way as Article 5(a) identifies which
States may see information.
In order to ensure that EU and NATO security
procedures are consistent, and that the agreed standards are met
and maintained, the NATO-EU Security Agreement provides for reciprocal
inspections of the EU by NATO and of NATO by the EU. Both NATO
and the EU require their Member States to conduct the enquiries
described in Article 7(b) on their behalf in accordance with their
respective security regulations.
4 February 2003