German conservative candidate for chancellor calls for ‘European FBI’, EU climate envoy – POLITICO

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Armin Laschet, the conservative candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as the next German Chancellor, called for the transformation of Europol into a “European FBI” to fight cybercrime.

“A well-defended state must also be able to defend itself in the digital world,” wrote Laschet, candidate for chancellor of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and her sister party the CSU, in an article by opinion published Wednesday in the Handelsblatt.

“We must create European opportunities for cyber self-defense and develop Europol in the cyber sector into a European FBI,” said Laschet. This would allow Europe to respond to digital threats, which are “often harbingers of analog crimes”, he argued.

The Conservative candidate also called for a “common foreign climate policy (…) John Kerry.

Laschet, who is due to meet French President Emmanuel Macron later Wednesday, also called more broadly for a “stronger security union” led by Germany and France. “The French president has repeatedly shown his desire for innovative renewals for a strong Europe, it is now time to take this path together,” he wrote.

“We need a Union which is a confident and independent actor on the outside and which demonstrates the capacity to act internally,” said Laschet.

According to the POLITICO poll of polls, Laschet’s conservatives vote 21 percent ahead of the September 26 election, behind the Social Democrats, who are at 25 percent. The Greens are at 17%.


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