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EU close to reaching its migrant relocation targets as Commission ponders how to tighten Europe’s external borders

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – On 5 September, the European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the European Council had not overstepped its authority when it adopted its plan in September 2015 to relocate 120,000 migrants from Italy and Greece to other European countries over a two-year period. With its ruling, the ECJ dismissed a lawsuit brought by Hungary and Slovakia alleging that the relocation programme was unlawful. In his reaction to the ECJ’s decision, Hungary Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó did not mince his words, calling it “outrageous and irresponsible”. For Szijjártó, “politics has raped European law.” Other responses were more…

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Horizon 2020 programme throws cash at cybersecurity-related security projects, hoping something will stick to the Dark Web

By PATRICK STEPHENSON, with BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – Among the measures included in European Commission’s cybersecurity package, adopted on 13 September 2017, is the goal of transforming the European Union Agency for Information Security (ENISA) into a new cybersecurity agency. The Commission is also pushing researchers to study new ways to tackle Europe’s burgeoning cybercrime threats. The need is great, to say the least. According to the EU, ransomware attacks increased by 300 per cent between 2015 and 2017, and may increase four-fold again by 2019. One of the workshops during the 6 December meeting of the Commission’s “Community of Users” (CoU) of security research stakeholders (see related article in this issue) focused on cybercrime, several related research projects and the eye-raising statistics that confront authorities in their efforts to combat it. As Michele Socco of the Commission’s home affairs directorate-generale (DG HOME) told the workshop, “65 percent of digital evidence is...