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German spy chiefs skeptical of pan-European agency


Germany’s top intelligence officials spoke of their scepticism Thursday over proposals to set up a CIA-style European Union intelligence agency, APA reports quoting AA.

 

Speaking at a public hearing of German parliament’s control board, the foreign intelligence agency BND director Bruno Kahl argued that intelligence at an operational level should remain the responsibility of member states.

 

“Although I am a true friend of European integration, in my opinion, we do not need a European intelligence service, and we would not get one,” Kahl said.

 

The German spy chief argued that, due to the very nature of intelligence work, strict rules on secrecy, discretion, the operational intelligence work could only be efficiently organized at a national level.

 

But he praised the work of EU's Intelligence Analysis Centre (EU INTCEN), which was established a few years ago to provide intelligence analysis for EU decision-makers, based on the intelligence provided by the intelligence agencies of EU member states.

 

Hans-Georg Maassen, director of domestic intelligence agency BfV, also said he was opposed to the idea of setting up a pan-European intelligence agency,

 

“I don’t think that it is necessary, and I believe that it would be a wrong step,” he told lawmakers during the public hearing.

 

Maassen argued that such a move would only mean unnecessary duplication of existing intelligence structures.

 

Several European politicians, including European Parliament’s Liberal group leader Guy Verhofstadt have called for the creation of an EU intelligence agency to address the growing threat of international terrorism.

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