Speech by Michel Barnier at EU Agency for Fundamental Rights

Michel Barnier made the following speech at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in Vienna, on 19 June 2018.

Vienna, 19 June 2018


Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me first thank the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, and its Director Michael O’Flaherty, for this invitation.

Over the past 10 years, this Agency has contributed to the area of justice, freedom and security in the European Union.

  • This is an area with one external – but no internal – border.
  • This is an area where security is protected by common rules and operational cooperation between police and judicial authorities, notably extradition, border controls, travel visas, immigration and asylum policies.
  • This is an area where people – both EU and non-EU citizens alike – see their fundamental rights respected. And where the European Court of Justice plays an indispensable role in the protection of our rights.

The delicate balance between security and freedom has been tested and will be tested.

  • By the series of terrorist attacks that have hit our streets, concert halls, stadiums, bars and restaurants. People have been killed and our freedoms have been attacked. Let’s not forget.
  • By the increasing cyber-attacks targeting our economy and our democracy.
  • By other internal and external threats, such as radicalisation and organised crime.

These threats are common to European countries. And they call for European responses, including with the UK. After each attack – in Manchester, London, in Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Stockholm and Barcelona – our countries knew that they could count on the solidarity of their neighbours. And this solidarity contributed to avoiding more attacks, thanks to our close cooperation and swift information exchanges.

After Brexit Brexit Negotiations Future Relationship

Technical note on consultation and cooperation on external security

This technical note is part of a series of papers produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU and outlines options for future UK-EU consultation and cooperation arrangements across foreign policy, common security and defence policy (CSDP), defence capabilities and development and external instruments.

The Prime Minister set out in her Munich speech that the UK wants to develop a new security partnership with the EU that builds on the breadth and depth of our shared interests and values, and one that goes beyond any existing third country arrangements. As agreed with Taskforce 50 this paper provides further detail on what future UK-EU consultation and cooperation on external security might entail. This builds on the UK presentation to Taskforce 50 on 4 May, which we published on 9 May 2018.

Europe’s security is our security. As the Prime Minster said in Munich, the United Kingdom is unconditionally committed to maintaining it. We must do whatever best provides security for our citizens. The UK and EU need to be able to work together to respond quickly and effectively to the evolving and challenging threats that both parties face. Upon leaving the EU, the UK will pursue an independent foreign policy, but around the world the interests that we will seek to project and defend will continue to be rooted in our shared values. We must therefore create a future partnership that allows the UK and the EU to combine our efforts to the greatest effect – where this is in our shared interests.

As set out in the UK presentation, any future UK-EU consultation arrangements must respect both the decision-making autonomy of the European Union and the sovereignty of the United Kingdom. They also need to go beyond current arrangements between the EU and third countries if they are to capture the full depth and breadth of our envisaged
relationship. This includes the distinctive features that Taskforce 50’s own presentation recognises, not least our position as a departing Member State that is: a permanent member of the UN Security Council; a leading member of other international fora such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the G7, the G20, the Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Commonwealth; and the only European country that meets both the NATO target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence and the UN target of spending 0.7 per cent of gross national income on international development.

We are therefore of the view that a new, flexible and scalable framework of consultation and cooperation with the EU would be in our mutual interests and best suited to the unique circumstances we face. This would enable the EU and the UK to work closely together to have maximum impact – whether through coordinated positions in the UNSC or by
cooperating together during a crisis.

After Brexit Brexit Negotiations Future Relationship

Technical note on security, law enforcement and criminal justice

This technical note is part of a series of papers produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU, it provides analysis of the existing precedents for cooperation between the EU and third countries in the area of security, law enforcement and criminal justice before setting out the UK’s proposals for a new internal security treaty with the EU for future cooperation across these areas.

It is unlikely that the wide range of threats we face together will diminish; they will inevitably evolve and could well increase in intensity. Over the past year we have seen a series of deadly terrorist attacks in the UK and across Europe. Other plots have been foiled but more will be at the planning stage. The fact that the UK is leaving the
EU is unlikely to significantly affect the scale of movements of people between us: 37.6 million EEA and Swiss nationals entered the UK in 2016. Over 3 million EU nationals live in the UK and over 1 million UK nationals live in other Member States.

The UK’s analysis indicates that there will be a serious drop off in our ability to cooperate to tackle internal security threats if we do not seek to move beyond existing precedents for EU cooperation with third countries on individual measures. That shortfall would affect law enforcement agencies and judicial authorities in the UK and the EU27, and would have a direct impact on their ability to bring criminals to justice – and by extension, on public safety.

The UK believes there is a compelling case for developing a future relationship that protects critical operational capabilities and keeps our citizens safe. Our analysis suggests that this outcome would be delivered most effectively by a new, comprehensive Internal Security Treaty that draws on legal precedents for strategic relationships between the EU and third countries in other areas of the acquis and enables cooperation to be sustained on the basis of existing EU measures where this delivers mutual operational benefits. This would be the most efficient way to protect the capabilities that protect our citizens, avoid downgrading the quality and quantity of cooperation between us, and ensure our relationship can evolve over time as threats and technology change.

Brexit Negotiations

Framework for the UK-EU Security Partnership

The UK Government published a presentation on a framework for the future UK-EU Security partnership which will be used in discussions with the EU.

It focuses on an element of the vision of the future relationship and will set out terms, which will be converted into legally binding agreements after the UK leaves the EU.

The security partnership should be a core chapter of the UK-EU Future Framework.

It should:

  • provide for close cooperaCon reflecCng the trust and transparency between the UK and EU
  • agree a high level of mutual ambition
  • respect the autonomy of the Union and the sovereignty of the UK
  • be adaptable and scalable

To best enable the UK and EU act together, our partnership should be anchored by a combination of politcal and legal agreements.

These should all provide for:

  • structured UK-EU consultation
  • regular dialogue on thematic and geographic priorities
  • extensive exchange of experts and information
Brexit Negotiations EU

EU Framework for Future Relationship with the UK

The EU have published a series of documents as part of the internal EU27 preparatory discussions on the framework for the future relationship between the UK and the EU after Brexit.

The documents are in the form of slides used for presentational and information purposes used durin working group meetings in the EU.

The available documents include:

Level Playing Field

Slides on Police & Judicial Cooperation in criminal matters

Slides on Security, Defence and Foreign Policy

Slides on Governance

Slides on Fisheries

Slides on Aviation