Espionage against EU institutions is growing
By Roni Alasor
19 March 2022 - Middle East Diplomatic - The presence of the EU institutions and NATO headquarter in Brussels makes the capital of Belgium more relevant for the international politics, diplomacy, media and think-tank activities: Brussels is hosting over 120 diplomatic missions and several thousands of diplomats, journalists, international spies and lobbyists.
The recent reports underlining that the EU institution are facing more and more foreign interference and espionage. And the infiltration and sophisticated artificial intelligence espionage activities is growing. This is worrying EU and therefore the block of the union calling on the host country Belgium security and intelligent services to step up and strengthen anti-espionage efforts.
“We call on the Belgian authorities to review and update the domestic anti-espionage framework to enable effective detection, prosecution and sanctioning of offenders,” stated the report of the European Parliament resolution published newly.
Sources saying that the EU Council, the Commission and the Parliament, which each have their own services monitoring the espionage and security of the institutions, are overwhelming espionage activities and that is why they are asking more active help from the Belgium security and intelligent services.
The reported information on the cases of foreign infiltration among the staff of the EU institutions, including high-level politicians and officials who take on positions in foreign national or private companies that are state-controlled by countries active in espionage in “exchange for their knowledge regarding the EU and its Member States.”
According to the ex French journalist and member of the European Parliament Raphaël Glucksmann (S&D), who is also the chairs the committee overseeing the espionage report, “These attacks are systematic and put us in an uncomfortable position. We are not at war, but we are no longer at peace either. They blur all the boundaries that, until now, structured our thinking. We must put an end to the corruption – financial and moral – that undermines our cities. How could we accept that so many heads of government, ministers and senior European officials go to work for Russian, Chinese or Qatari interests?”
Speaking to the De Standaard, Belgium’s State Security Service saying that it had “already identified many cases of attempted interference by foreign services of very different origins, not only from the usual suspects.”
It has been mentioned also in Belgium media that Belgium State Security Service looking to further expand its force. State Security Service will receive more support from government to double its officers and agents to combat terror and foreign spies.
However, its difficult for the Belgian and EU authorities to punish those caught spying because according to the host country Belgium, the espionage is not classified as a crime. But the regulations of the Belgium laws, which provisions date back to the 1930s are now under discussions. However, the Belgium authorities do believe that the member of the EU countries have also responsibilities for their own nationals who are working in the EU institutions.