This week in Europe: 7-10 January

Report on proposed banking reforms is published

The Economic and Monetary Committee has published a report “Banking Union and a Single Banking Supervisory Mechanism“, with some expert opinions from European economists on the European Commission proposals to create a single supervisor for European banks. For those interested in the proposals, their viability and some of the arguments for gradations of supervisions – the 200 largest banks in the Eurozone have approximately 90% of the market in that area – the five opinions will provide a lucid, and brief summary of the key issues, the context in which decisions are being made, and the likely impact of any decision taken.

European Cybercrime Centre will strengthen EU fight against cyber criminals

Commenting on the launch tomorrow (Jan 11) of a new ‘European Cybercrime Centre’ (EC3) based at Europol, which will be the focus of the EU’s fight against cybercrime and assist Member States in tackling cyber-attacks, Lib Dem European justice & human rights spokeswoman Sarah Ludford MEP said:

“Cybercrime – including online child sexual abuse – is a rapidly mounting threat. The EU has to get smarter, faster and stronger in response. European laws are already being tightened up, and now the operational capacity is being boosted too.

The timeliness of ‘EC3’ is shown by this week’s warnimg from the Commons defence select committee that the threat of a terrorist cyberattack is evolving at an ‘almost unimaginable speed’, and questioning preparedness to deal with it.

“By analysing cyberattacks experienced across the EU and globally – especially cooperating with the US – the ‘EC3’ Centre will develop better tools to tackle cybercrime for the use of governments, businesses and citizens throughout Europe. It can and must put us one step ahead of criminals attempting to exploit new technologies.

“This new initiative is a prime example of the benefits of EU cooperation in tackling crime & terrorism and achieving greater security which Tory Eurosceptics would bizarrely like to pull out of.

Lib Dem MEP Bill Newton Dunn, who is a full member of the European Parliament’s Committee against organised crime and will host a seminar on cybercrime on February 20 in Brussels, added:

Cybercrime is an international scale issue, estimated at costing the UK economy around £27 billion per year which is rapidly rising. Technology is now part of our everyday lives and we are increasingly dependant upon it. Mobile phones, tablets, and computers provide organised criminals with the means to commit crime with a very small risk of being caught.

As technology changes and develops, so will the criminals. This is why the new European Cybercrime Centre in The Hague, Netherlands, is a huge step in the right direction which will help us all prevent online crimes, prosecute the perpetrators and prevent our economy from losing so much money each year.

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