PAM and Council of Europe tackle cybersecurity

PAM and Council of Europe tackle cybersecurity

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean and the Council of Europe (CoE), together with the Cyber South Project, co-organised, in Strasbourg, on 10-11 October 2019, a joint conference dedicated to “Counter-terrorism and New Technologies: from prevention to prosecution, at national and international levels, the need for parliamentarians’ support”. 

The meeting gathered more than 50 participants from over 18 countries, including representatives from both national parliaments and diplomatic corps,  experts from partner organisations, such as PACE, the United Nations system, NATO, the Arab Parliament, the Hedaya Institute, as well as top national experts and representatives from the Academia and civil society.  

The event was opened by Hon. Pedro Roque, President of the PAM Political and Security Committee, Mr Wojciech Sawicki, Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and Mr Jan Kleijssen, Director of Information Society and Action against crime Directorate at the Council of Europe. 

Discussions focused on the threats posed by evolving terrorist strategies in relation to the use of technology, including cybercrime and cyberterrorism, as well as the use of electronic evidence to prevent terrorist acts, and to track, capture and prosecute terrorists.

The transborder nature of electronic communication and digital evidence in terrorism cases were highlighted as a major obstacle for national authorities to deal effectively with the phenomenon in their count-terrorism efforts within national jurisdictions. The Budapest Convention on Cybercrime and Electronic Evidence was presented as the main international instrument, which allows for effective and timely international cooperation on electronic evidence in counterterrorism. 

The debates explored the challenges and best practices from national experiences in addressing cyber aspects of terrorism, and specifically the necessary legislative action needed to harmonise national laws and practices to the international standards, including safeguards, to balance the requirements of criminal justice authorities with the protection of human rights and liberties. 

The event also included special sessions for an exchange of views with a senior representative of the European Court for Human Rights and with the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, as well as to visit to the CoE Assembly’s Plenary Chamber. 

The outcomes of this meeting will contribute to the ongoing work of PAM on counterterrorism and will be presented at the Coordination Meeting of the PAM Special Parliamentary Committee on Counter-terrorism, set to take place in Rome on 29 November. The recommendations of this meeting will be also incorporated into the dedicated resolution on this issue, which will be put for adoption at the next PAM Plenary Session set to take place in Athens in February 2020. Moreover, the reinforced cooperation between the Council of Europe and PAM will serve as a basis for more joint actions in the future on issues of common concern. / /


issued on 22.11.2019

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