The Guardian reports:
G6 leaders to discuss anti-terror measures
Wednesday October 25, 2006
The home secretary, John Reid, is to chair a two-day meeting of European interior ministers at which anti-terror measures will top the agenda.
The talks, which begin today, are taking place at Ettingham Park, near Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. They involve ministers from the G6 countries - France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Germany and the UK.
So, apart from sightseeing and causing traffic chaos in Stratford and Warwick due to the VIP security cordons, what are these Ministers and their officials actually going to discuss ?
A Home Office spokesman said the discussions would mostly centre around terrorism, but would also consider other home affairs issues including how to shut off illegal immigration routes and better target cross-border organised crime.
Which the most importsant of them discussed back at the similar EU Informal Meeting meeting on Counter-Terrorism held on 16th August 2006 at the Home Office in London, during the "no liquid explosives on airliners" hysteria. This involved Ministers from UK, Finland, Germany, Portugal, Slovenia, France and the Vice-President of the European Commission.
Will any of the accredited journalists at this secretive meeting, actually bother to ask about progress on these issues since then ?
Will they ask about the lack of any progress on exactly these same issues which were promised after the Madrid 2004 and London 2005 terrorist bomb attacks ?
The G6 is not a decision-making body, but a "forum for frank discussion on home affairs matters", the spokesman said.
He said the talks would "focus particularly on how another terror attack could be pre-empted and challenging radical extremist ideas".
"Germany has been looking at making the internet a more hostile environment for terrorism and its supporters," he added. "The group allows us to exchange ideas like that."
Will any of the accredited journalists bother to ask exactly what the German Government is proposing with regard to " making the internet a more hostile environment for terrorism and its supporters" ?
How does this differ from the utter lack of any firm policy ideas which the European Commission has come up with since the August meeting ?
See the 17 Questions we asked of the European Commission to censor "terrorist websites", and the dangers of "collateral damage" to innocent European Union internet users and companies.
Officials from the G6 countries meet two or three times each year. Around three-quarters of the EU's population live in the six nations.
So when does the full European Union get let in on the decisions made by this group of six countries' "security" bureaucracies ?
See the House of Lords Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report which deplores the lack of transparency and accountibility of these G6 meetings.
We look forward to see how speedily the promise made by the junior Home office Minister Joan Ryan to the House of Lords Select Committee is fulfilled:
"We put to Ms Ryan the failure of the Home Office to disclose anything about the meeting. She told us that the usual practice was to put the conclusions of G6 meetings on the website of the Ministry of the host State, as had been done in March. She offered to place the Conclusions of the October meeting on the Home Office website. "
UPDATE Friday 27th October 2006: Home Office website statement at the end of the conference:
Home Secretary, John Reid
said many terror groups used websites to organise their attacks so decisions made by the G6 would help combat internet terror traffic. 'We have to do much more together to make the internet a hostile environment to the terrorist,' he added.
- cooperate on monitoring internet websites used by terror groups - particularly supporting Germany's 'check the web' project
Do any of our friends and readers in Germany
have any more information on the scope and aims of this project ?
Still no sign of Joan Ryan's promise to the House of Lords Select Committee having been fulfilled.