EU official confirms Brussels espionage warnings

Dale Kidd

Dale Kidd

Last February, intelNews reported on a leaked internal European Union (EU) memorandum warning EU officials that “the threat of espionage is increasing day by day” and that  an increasing number of “countries […] lobbyists, journalists [and] private agencies […] are continuing to seek sensitive and classified information” in Brussels. The memo appeared to echo concerns by Alain Winants, Director of Belgium’s State Security Service (SV/SE), who in late January 2009 requested expanded investigative powers to combat the increasing presence of foreign spies in the country, including “dozens” of spies who operate in Brussels under journalistic cover. After pressure, EU officials hesitantly confirmed the existence of the internal memorandum. Now a new article in Wave magazine adds yet another confirmation from an EU insider. It quotes European Commission press officer Dale Kidd, who says that the European Commission has in fact “sent [out a] note in which it warns […] of increased risk of espionage”. Speaking to the magazine, Mr. Kidd refused to “go into the details […] because of security reasons”, but said that the internal memorandum was consistent with the security interests of “any large organization which handles confidential and very sensitive information”. He also revealed that the European Council, the EU’s highest political body, which brings together the heads of state of the Union’s member states, “has also sent similar note to its staff”. But this was subsequently denied by Marjory van den Broeke, who heads the Press Room Unit at the EU’s Directorate General for Communication. She told the magazine that the European Council has not issued warnings about “the risks of espionage”. She also refused to comment on similar remarks by Belgian authorities, including Alain Winants. The article, which also quotes yours truly, is available here.

About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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