Tue. Jun 6th, 2023
4 June 2021
Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001243/2021


Council Decision 2010/427(1) is the legal basis for the existence of the EU Intelligence and Situation Centre (EU INTCEN) within the European External Action Service.

All Members of the European Parliament who intend to get EU INTCEN briefings must have a valid Personal Security Clearance (issued by the national authorities) to receive any classified intelligence in a restricted briefing room. The Director of EU INTCEN provides briefings, in compliance with the EU classified information (EUCI) rules, typically in Committee on Foreign Affairs ( AFET) and Subcommittee on Security and Defence ( SEDE) meetings(2) according to the ‘third party rule’.

EU INTCEN is not an Intelligence Service; it has no intelligence collection powers. It is an intelligence fusion centre, functioning based on finished intelligence, shared voluntarily by EU Member States’ Intelligence and Security Services(3). EU INTCEN fuses these inputs to provide classified assessments to EU decision-makers(4), according to a strict need-to-know principle, in respect of the ‘third party rule’ and the EUCI rules(5) (and Member States’ rules).

Member States’ Intelligence and Security Services also provide expert staff (Seconded National Experts and Temporary Agents) to EU INTCEN to support its work and to facilitate contacts with national services.

(1) The EU INTCEN is the successor of the EU Situation Centre (EU SITCEN), which is mentioned in Article 4, paragraph 3, sub (a), third indent of Council Decision 2010/427 of 26 July 2010 — https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:32010D0427 (Decision establishing the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service ). The aforementioned reference to the EU SITCEN serves as legal basis for EU INTCEN, which has taken over the intelligence and analytical tasks of EU SITCEN.
(2) EU INTCEN was also consulted on specific topics, exceptionally, a s it was the case with the Special Committee on Terrorism (TERR).
(3) The shared information remains owned by EU Member States
(4) High Representative, Council and European Commission
(5) Council decision on the security rules for protecting EU classified information — https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32013D0488

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Source: Answer to a written question – Democratic oversight of the EU Intelligence and Situation Centre (INTCEN) – E-001243/2021(ASW)

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