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GUIDELINES

GUIDELINES OF THE EUROPEAN NETWORK OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE REVIEWERS (ENNIR)

These Guidelines were adopted by the following members:

COUNTRY

PARLIAMENT/COMMITTEE/REVIEW BODY

DATE

Austria

 

 

Belgium

1. The Belgian Senate

 

2. The Standing Intelligence Agencies Review Committee

2011

Bulgaria

 

 

Cyprus

 

 

Czech Republic

 

 

Denmark

 

 

Estonia

 

 

Finland

 

 

France

 

 

Germany

 

2012

Greece

 

 

Hungary

 

 

Ireland

 

 

Italy

 

 

Latvia

 

 

Lithuania

 

 

Luxemburg

 

2011

Malta

 

 

Netherlands

 

2011

Poland

 

 

Portugal

 

2012

Romania

 

 

Slovakia

 

 

Slovenia

 

 

Spain

 

 

Sweden

 

 

United Kingdom

 

 

 

These Guidelines were adopted by the following observers:

COUNTRY

PARLIAMENT/COMMITTEE/REVIEW BODY

DATE

Norway

 

2012

Switzerland

 

2012

 

PREAMBLE

During a meeting organized in Oslo (Norway) in 2008 by the Norwegian Parliamentary Intelligence Oversight Committee and Human Rights Centre and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), the Belgian delegation launched the initiative of setting up a European Network of National Intelligence Reviewers.

The idea was taken up by the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Martin Scheinin. In his final report of 4 February 2009 on ‘The role of intelligence agencies and their oversight in the fight against terrorism’, he expressed his interest as follows : “The Special Rapporteur supports the idea, developed by the Belgian Standing Committee I, of setting up a permanent knowledge-sharing platform for (parliamentary) review bodies of intelligence services, where best practices on legislation, jurisprudence and general developments in the field can be shared, thereby supporting the professionalization of the review bodies of Member States.”

At the 5th Conference of the Parliamentary Committees for the Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services of the European Member States which was held in Tallinn (Estonia) on 25-26 May 2009, Belgium detailed the initiative.

On 1 October 2010, the participants to the 6th Conference of the Parliamentary Committees for the Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services of the European Member States agreed on the ‘Declaration of Brussels’, whereby they supported the proposal set out by the Belgian delegation.

On 3-5 April 2011, the ENNIR project was on the agenda of the Conference of the Speakers of the Parliaments of the European Union which was held in Brussels. The Speakers discussed the implementation of the Declaration of Brussels and agreed on the importance for the national parliaments to be able to monitor activities of the security and intelligence services with a view to the protection of basic freedoms and rights. They recognized the need for and the utility of a more intensive exchange of non-confidential information. In this context, the Speakers supported the creation of the ENNIR and agreed in principle to the proposed funding system, with the costs being shared by the participating member states.

At the 7th Conference of the Parliamentary Committees for the Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services of the European Member States which was held in Berlin (Germany) on 26-28 October 2011, these Guidelines were presented by the Belgian delegation.

 

I. MISSION STATEMENT

Article 1

  1. ENNIR is a knowledge-sharing platform implemented throughout a website for and by national intelligence reviewers being parliamentary committees for the oversight of intelligence and security services of the European Member States and/or review bodies of these countries, whose main activity is the oversight of intelligence and security services.
  2. The primary goal of ENNIR is to improve democratic oversight of the functioning of the intelligence and security services through an exchange of best practices, expertise and documentary information such as annual reports, research reports, legislation, case law, announcement of conferences, etc.
  3. ENNIR aims at representing an added value for the parliamentary committees or review bodies which invariably strive for increased professionalism in the performance of their roles.
  4. ENNIR does not serve as an instrument for defending collective interests, nor entail joint review projects or the exchange of operational or classified information.
  5. Expertise, neutrality and objectivity are key values.
  6. ENNIR members confirm their belief in the intelligence and security services to protect as efficiently as possible the national population and the democratic institutions and at the same time the fundamental rights and liberties as guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights.

 

II. COMPOSITION OF THE ENNIR

Article 2

Members

  1. The Speaker(s) of the national parliament(s) of the European Union Member States shall designate the parliamentary committee(s) and/or the review bodies of their respective countries entitled to be member of ENNIR.

Observers

  1. The Speaker(s) of the national parliament(s) of the European countries that are not members of the European Union and that hold observer status in the Conference of the Parliamentary Committees for the Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services of the European Member States shall designate parliamentary committees and/or review bodies of their respective countries as observer.
  2. The observers shall have the same rights and obligations as the members except for the assessment of the functioning of the website made by the Conference of the Parliamentary Committees for the Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services of the European Member States.

 

III. CONTENT OF THE ENNIR WEBSITE

Article 3

  1. The ENNIR website address (URL) is the following: http://www.ennir.be
  2. The ENNIR website is divided into two parts, i.e. an area accessible to the public and a password-protected area.
  3. The area accessible to the public provides information on the website itself and on the different parliamentary committees or review bodies of the members and of the observers in accordance with a predefined structure.
  4. The restricted area only accessible to the parliamentary committees or review bodies concerned takes the form of a password-protected (members only) website composed of (a) a subarea with information on the organization of events, internal publications, reports, etc; (b) a discussion forum enabling the members and observers of the parliamentary committees and the review bodies to ask open questions and exchange experiences and information ; (c) a mailbox enabling a member or observer of a parliamentary committee and a review body to ask a specific question to one or several member(s) or observer(s).
  5. Each country is responsible for and will deliver the input on the website including permanent availability and update of the country-specific information and reaction to any specific requests.
  6. All texts and communications shall be in English.

 

IV. WORKING METHODS

Article 4

  1. One national correspondent shall be appointed per participating country, as well as a substitute by the Speaker(s) of national the parliament(s) of the European Union Member States.
    The correspondents or their respective substitutes shall be responsible for dispatching information, updating the data on their respective committees and bodies and replying to other countries' requests. They shall be provided access to the "members only" area through a login. Their contact details shall be available on the ENNIR website.
    The national correspondent shall receive a user guide in due time.
  2. Members and observers of the ENNIR designate the staff member(s) within their own organization that are authorized to consult the information available on the password-protected (members only) website and to ask questions via the discussion forum and the mailbox.
  3. The Conference of the Parliamentary Committees for the Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services of the European Member States assesses the functioning of the website after a two-year period and on a biennial basis.
  4. The Belgian Standing Intelligence Agencies Review Committee will ensure the hosting and the technical maintenance of the website for the next six years. The assistance of other countries shall be requested if the aforementioned committee deems it necessary.
  5. The contact details of the committees and/or review bodies shall be passed on to the Belgian Standing Committee I.

 

V. FINANCING OF THE ENNIR

Article 5

  1. Each participating country shall pay a single contribution of 700 euros to the Senate of Belgium for acceding to and using the website and its databases.
  2. The Conference of the Parliamentary Committees for the Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services of the European Member States will assess the functioning of the website and its costs in 2017.
Last update: 23/08/2012