Following the Paris attacks last week, the first call for a “real” EU intelligence agency has now been made.
This is not a new phenomenon. Indeed, every major terrorist attack or security problem in Europe has provoked similar demands.
A few examples:
- Several member states, led by Austria called for a CIA-type organization already 10 years ago after the 2004 attacks in Madrid
- At the height of the Snowden-affair the former EU commissioner Viviane Reding called for a new agency to counter the NSA.
- Following the Charlie Hebdo attacks, Italy’s prime minister called for a real EU intelligence agency
- EU Commission president Juncker aired thought on a European security service this spring
- And yesterday, Liberal party leader in the European Parliament called for a new EU intelligence agency
As I have argued before, these ambitions are far from easy to realize, partly because the practitioners themselves are often less enthusiastic. Other measures to improve the intelligence capacity of the EU and its member states would prove more effective.