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Cablegate: Scenesetter for April 26 Inaugural Session of The

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A


1. Summary and introduction. The inaugural meeting of the
high level dialogue on transportation, border and
infrastructure security (TBIS) on April 26 is an important
opportunity to break through the bureaucratic logjams between
various EU components that have severely complicated efforts
to advance our homeland security agenda with the EU. By
bringing together several elements of the Commission, along
with the Council Secretariat, the Irish Presidency, and
newly-installed EU Counter-terrorism coordinator Gijsbert de
Vries, we have a chance to get them to place existing EU
efforts more squarely in the context of the struggle against
terrorism. The EU was contemplating the creation of a
similar structure when we tabled our proposal for the
creation of this group.

2. On the EU side, the meeting will be formally co-chaired
by Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Director General Jonathan
Faull and External Relations (RELEX) Deputy Director General
Fernando Valenzuela. They have the lead, but we have found
in the past that the real problems arise from more robust
rules and regulations promulgated by "first pillar"
directorates such as Transport/Energy and Internal Market.
Representatives from these directorates will also be present
at the session although not at the table. One of our key
goals for the day should be to convince the "backbenchers"
that their offices need to take better account of the
implications of what they do for the war on terrorism. The
Irish Presidency and the Council Secretariat should be allies
in trying to push for a more comprehensive and balanced
approach on these questions. End summary and introduction.

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The Setting

3. The EU has indicated they want this first TBIS meeting to
be a success - to have a positive agenda and to achieve
concrete results. Within the EU this meeting is referred to
as the "Enhanced Security Dialogue." We will need to explain
our view that this meeting is not to replace our current
discussion mechanisms on JHA issues. It is indeed precisely
because our current JHA discussions address the issues of
transport, border and infrastructure security in an
unsatisfactory way that we have proposed this new mechanism.
DG RELEX has confided to us that if this meeting can
effectively bring together the various directorates to
discuss these issues in a coordinated fashion it will have
been a successful venture. The EC recognizes that it has
"stove-piped" its handling of these issues and is hopeful
that this new mechanism will assist in overcoming this
problem. In addition to overcoming the "stove-piping"
problem, we want to use this meeting to enhance the pivotal
role of Jonathan Faull and his JHA Directorate in this
dialogue as he is the one focusing on law enforcement and
security aspects of these issues. We also want to underscore
the important role that the newly-named Council terrorism
coordinator Gijsbert De Vries can play.

4. There has long existed a tension among the various
directorates of the Commission, the council secretariat and
the Member States. This tension has only been exacerbated by
the push to forge an EU counter-terrorism strategy. For
example, the focus of the Transport and Internal Market
Directorates is primarily commercial, while that of JHA is on
law enforcement and security. Meanwhile, terrorism
coordinator De Vries has been placed within the Council
Secretariat and answers to High Representative Solana.

Elements of the Commission do not acknowledge his position as
having jurisdiction over their portfolios. The EU
Counter-terrorism Declaration is a Member State document, but
contains initiatives that touch on Commission competencies.
This forum may bring some of these tensions to the fore. In
this context, there is a danger that the session could be
side-tracked into theological debate on the purpose of the
group. We will need to review this at the top of the
meeting, but we should seek to move quickly to the other
items on the agenda in order to look for practical outcomes.

5. There is much in the recently-adopted Council Declaration
issued after the Madrid attacks that can be helpful in
framing the agenda and purpose of the group. It also can
provide a point of departure as we consider a possible joint
Summit statement. De Vries will want to explain the
initiatives (old and new), but we should try to steer him
away from a presentation on a public document we have already
read and digested. Instead, we should key on the declaration
to begin a focus on how this will affect transatlantic
efforts to cooperate more fully on law enforcement and
improve security for transport/infrastructure and borders.

Priority Issues

6. Biometrics: The EU will expect an update regarding the
Administration,s efforts to persuade Congress to postpone
the 10/26/2004 biometrics deadline. The EU has informed
Congressman Sensenbrenner in writing of its efforts to
coordinate the introduction of biometrics into Member State
passports. An early, favorable decision by Congress
regarding the deadline will be critical in managing the flow
of legitimate travelers. The parallel policy change of
enrolling visa waiver travelers in US VISIT on or about
9/30/2004 will also be raised by the EU. The lack of prior
notification and expected negative public reactions as the
date nears are two issues the EU may raise. Although the
Commission has publicly stated it will not pursue reciprocal
treatment of American travelers to the Schengen area, calls
for reciprocity have already been heard in Europe (with the
example of Brazil cited). Finally, the issue of visa waiver
for new Member States continues to simmer. The Commission
notified USEU that the Czech Republic has again demanded that
visa waiver be discussed at the next JHA Council meeting. If
this issue is raised at the TBIS, we suggest that it be
deferred to a technical meeting later in the day between CA
and DG JHA where DAS Jacobs will explain the legislative
parameters to the VWP.

7. Border security: Our delegation might press for the
following concrete results to enhance border security: a
pilot project to share, on a reciprocal basis, 200 names from
our lookout systems before the end of the calendar year.
This gives the EU time to resolve potential legal and
technical issues relating to the Schengen Information System
(SIS). The Department,s swift response to the EC,s
proposal on sharing lost/stolen passport information via
Interpol (reftel State 83112) can be used as leverage to
obtain from the EU a similar response on our proposed pilot
for exchanging lookout information. A written proposal
(similar to the one Jonathan Faull presented to the
Department on lost/stolen passports) may be helpful in moving
this suggestion forward.

8. Information Exchange: We might also like to flag a
longer-term objective of exchanging on a reciprocal, routine
basis information on visa applications that have been
refused. DG JHA Head of Unit for IT Systems Frank Paul, who
is charged with designing the Visa Information System (which
will make such an exchange possible), has been selected for
an IVP in FY 2005. His consultations in Washington during
this program might serve to lay the foundation for a
longer-term objective related to the VIS. Since this visa
information would relate to aliens outside the EU, privacy
objections should be minimized. In addition, SIS II is being
developed in response to the enlargement. Agreement to
cooperate with the EU on sharing data using the SIS II
database must come quickly if the EU's system is to be
designed with this objective in mind.

9. Link to G7/G8: Many of these border security initiatives
are being simultaneously worked in the G8 Secure and
Facilitated International Travel Initiative (SAFTI). Four EU
member states and the Commission participate in these G8
discussions. We should anticipate that the dialogue with the
EU will touch upon these G8 initiatives and programs.

10. PNR: After the Parliament vote, the Commission has
stated that it will proceed with an 'adequacy finding' for
PNR data transfers, but the Irish have been less emphatic
that they will move forward on the associated "international
agreement" in the Council. The TBIS will provide a good
forum to push for rapid adoption of the deal. We can also
use this opportunity to outline our approach on third country
transfers of PNR data and send the signal we consider the
question closed. We understand that in ICAO, some member
states are pressing forward a proposal on airline passenger
data that would call for a moratorium on PNR transfers until
an ICAO standard is developed. We should ask the Commission
and Council representatives present to explain their
positions on this potentially damaging initiative.

11. CAPPS II: The Commission (DG Transportation and DG
Markets) would also like a readout of where we are on
implementation of the CAPPS II system after the February GAO
report. That readout would include our best estimates on
timing for the system's going live, and when we planned on
initiating bilateral discussions to work out an 'adequacy
finding' for operation of the system with EU data.

12. Air Marshals: In January 2004, U/S Hutchinson appeared
before a special session of European Directors General of
Civil Aviation and suggested that the U.S. and EU could work
together to develop guidelines for the placement of sky
marshals on flights, as well as alternate measures that
countries could implement to substitute for assigning
marshals. The Commission will want to discuss this matter
further. They also wish to learn more about work TSA is
doing with the UK on the 'gold standard' for placement of


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