The increased internationalisation of intelligence work implies a reinforced international cooperation between the intelligence services, which will require, among others, a mutual exchange of information. The oversight bodies have to closely follow this evolution.
Hence, the idea of setting up a platform for national intelligence reviewers was launched by the Belgian Standing Intelligence Agencies Review Committee during a meeting with homologous review bodies in October 2008 in Norway. The Committee’s idea was taken up there by Prof. Martin Scheinin, the UN Special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. He expressed this idea as follows in his report of 4 February 2009 (download pdf E) on the role of intelligence agencies and their oversight in the fight against terrorism: “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.”
Participants in the 6th Conference of the Parliamentary Committees for the Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services of the European Union Members States, which took place on 30 September and 1 October 2010 in Brussels, agreed on the so-called “Declaration of Brussels” (download pdf E) whereby they recognised the need and utility of more intensive exchange of information between the parliamentary oversight bodies of the EU Member States, Switzerland and Norway and whereby they testified their willingness to collaborate on the further development of this website.