Belgium calls for 'European CIA' after Paris attacks

AFP
AFP

Paris - Belgium called for the creation of a European intelligence agency on Monday to counter the threat of jihadist violence in the wake of the Paris attacks.

Prime Minister Charles Michel told French radio RTL that "we must quickly put in place a European intelligence agency, a European CIA" to collate information on suspected radicals and "unmask those with hostile intentions".

His call comes after the Paris attacks earlier this month - carried out by an extremist cell partly operating out of Belgium - exposed failings in information sharing between several European intelligence agencies.

Michel warned that one of the major problems facing security services was that information was being shared only between individual countries with no similar Europe-wide protocols.

"If intelligence services were able to share information without fail there might never be another attack," he said, but no system had been put in place to regularise these exchanges.

On Friday, European Home Affairs commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos also called for a pan-European spy agency, but Michel admitted they faced an uphill battle to have the idea accepted.

Despite the Paris attacks in which 130 people died, he said France's Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was "very hesitant about the proposition".

Germany too has not hidden its scepticism about a European CIA.

"We shouldn't waste our energy on a European intelligence agency," German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on Friday, but instead "concentrate on improving the exchange of information through existing institutions."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When planning for the Black Friday sales do you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Save, research and plan ahead, preparing to make the most of it?
8% - 906 votes
Wait and see what looks like a good deal on the day?
14% - 1704 votes
Have no interest in spending more money this year?
78% - 9378 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.21
(+0.91)
ZAR/GBP
20.31
(+0.88)
ZAR/EUR
18.08
(+0.71)
ZAR/AUD
11.19
(+0.24)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+1.06)
Gold
1807.64
(-1.54)
Silver
23.20
(-1.30)
Platinum
960.00
(+3.66)
Brent Crude
45.51
(+2.15)
Palladium
2340.00
(+0.48)
All Share
57761.92
(+1.08)
Top 40
53049.43
(+1.09)
Financial 15
11674.99
(+2.97)
Industrial 25
80126.12
(+0.26)
Resource 10
52568.48
(+1.54)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo