The New EU Union Commissioner Gets Grilled by MEPs

MEPs tore into the UK’s new European Commissioner the other night, then decided to take up his position.

Security Union Commissioner Sir Julian King started the hearing by speaking French, then went on to address the more technical side of border control, encryption and data protection, passenger name records, government surveillance, as well as cybercrime.

Members of the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee asked how he would balance being the British commissioner at Brexit negotiations, while still being required to represent one the EU’s interests.

“If you’d told me a few months ago that I’d be sitting here, I’d probably not have believed you. It is a particular situation. For the avoidance of any doubt, I’d like to make absolutely clear that I will fulfil my tasks to the best of my ability serving the European general interest, and only the European general interest,” King stated.

Despite persistent questions from MEPs, king wasn’t drawn on why he had received the “special” job. King was nominated by the Prime-Minister at the time, David Cameron; on July 7th. He was also confirmed by the new Prime Minister, Theresa May; on July 14th.

King stressed the need to support the EU Cybercrime Center so it can become the central hub in the fight against cybercrime, and to help support law enforcement agencies to investigate effectively with access to digital evidence, and more collaboration in the fight against terrorism.

We need to look at how we share information across various systems. Current arrangements are complex and fragmented. Respecting purpose limitations, we need to look at how to make the best use of the existing information at the EU level. We need to ensure the quality of data going into our systems, that it is processed appropriately and that it is available to the right people when they need it, all the time, respecting our rules on data protection. We should pursue the work of High Level Group on IT systems. And this should provide a basis for action,” King said.

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