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EU Observer tells us about a person who is both working for European Parliament and quite close to Putin:

Elizaveta Peskova, the daughter of Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, is working in the European Parliament (EP) as a "trainee" for a French far-right MEP, Aymeric Chauprade. The revelation came on Monday from Latvian MEP Sandra Kalniete, who said Peskova might be a security risk as she would have access to internal EP information.

I am wondering if there is a procedure to assess if a certain person might pose or not a security risk when working in the European Parliament since I assume some information is not public.

Question: How does the European Parliament asses if a person represents a security risk or not?

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In theory there's a directorate of the EU parliament called Directorate-General for Security and Safety (or DG SAFE for short) whose description is:

The Directorate-General for Security (DG SAFE) works to facilitate Parliament activities, while guaranteeing sufficient protection to people, assets and information.

And it's main tasks are:

  • providing the most appropriate security and safety services to Members and the institution;
  • deploying appropriate security measures, based on applicable security policies and sound risk assessment;
  • facilitating accreditation and access to Parliament premises and welcoming a wide range of occupants and visitors, including - Members and their entourage, Parliament and other EU institutions officials, service providers, journalists, interest group representatives, diplomats and general visitors;
  • deploying and managing innovative and efficient physical access control systems;
  • communicating, training and informing on security and safety matters;
  • cooperating with all entities and groups to enhance security posture and create a positive security culture;
  • assuring security, safety and prevention needs 24 hours a day, ensuring remote
  • monitoring of buildings and technical installations.

From all the EU directorates this should be the one dealing with this subject. However it likely does not exist a security network like the NATO one mentioned by MEP Sandra Kalniete:

“Every NATO employee or intern, as they start work at the NATO Headquarters, is required to receive a number of security clearances from the relevant agencies. Unfortunately, the European Parliament has no such security net. Until now, we have been ignoring security considerations, leaving it to each individual MEP to pick the people they want to hire as employees or interns at their offices. However, the internship of Putin press secretary Peskov’s daughter is contrary to any security standards,” Kalniete said.

The problem, however, is not clear cut. Elizaveta Peskova is not an accredited assistant, but a trainee.

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Trainees are people who have signed a traineeship agreement with a Member. Traineeships contribute to education and European vocational training and promote a better understanding of the workings of Parliament. They can take place either on Parliament’s premises or in the Member State in which the Member was elected.

As so it is unlikely that Elizaveta Peskova on her own has any kind of access to relevant information. That is not the problem. The problem is that the person that put her as trainee is Aymeric Chauprade, a politician known for his connections to far-right movements, including France political party National Front. He has access to those informations and he has supported Russia in the past including the annexation of Crimeia:

“Russia has become the hope of the world against new totalitarianism,” Mr. Chauprade, the National Front’s top European Parliament candidate for the Paris region, said in a speech to Russia’s Parliament in Moscow last year.

When Crimea held a referendum in March on whether the peninsula should secede from Ukraine and join Russia, Mr. Chauprade joined a team of election monitors organized by a pro-Russian outfit in Belgium, the Eurasian Observatory for Elections and Democracy. The team, which pronounced the referendum free and fair, also included members of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party; a Flemish nationalist group in Belgium; and the Jobbik politician in Hungary accused of spying for Russia.

So, unfortunately, the security liability exists with or without Elizaveta Peskova.

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