December 1, 2016, saw the presentation of the GLOBSEC Intelligence Reform Initiative (GIRI) report Reforming Transatlantic Counter-Terrorism at the Slovak Permanent Representation to the European Union. The event brought together intelligence stakeholders present and working from Brussels, including representatives of different EU Institutions and other permanent representations.

Michael Chertoff, former US Secretary of Homeland Security and the head of the GIRI’s Steering Committee, outlined the idea behind the initiative, operationalised the 2016 GLOBSEC Bratislava Security Forum, and spoke about the need for a reform of the European intelligence infrastructure. Patrick Bury, one of the report writers, briefly summarised the report’s findings and outlined its four recommendations: 1. establishment of a permanent Core Transatlantic Counter-Terrorism Hub, which would represent the first step to provide a secure space for linking existing national CT centres with high degrees of mutual trust; 2. introduction of operational Case-Based Task Forces be set up within to the Hub, designed to react ad hoc to emerging CT challenges; 3. development of a single search interface to enable real-time information exchange; 4. setting up a transatlantic CT Centre of Excellence, which would enable joint standardisation and training, as well as create a much-needed bridge between intelligence and law enforcement professionals around the issues of CT issues.

Their presentations were followed by a Q and A session moderated by Mr Simonak. The questions concerned the operationalisation of the recommendations, the positioning of the proposed Hub and Centre of Excellence in the intelligence and security infrastructure of Europe, their composition and line up. The event was followed by a wine reception hosted by the Slovak Permanent Representation to the European Union.

The GIRI report will be further discussed and disseminated at the COTER working group meeting in Brussels on December 14, 2016.