EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Agreements on the security of classified information

Agreements on the security of classified information

 

SUMMARY OF:

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE AGREEMENTS AND OF THE DECISIONS?

The agreements between the EU and various countries aim to strengthen the security and safety of their respective citizens through the sharing of classified information and putting in place mechanisms to ensure that the information remains secure.

For each agreement there is an associated decision to approve it on behalf of the EU.

KEY POINTS

The parties agree to develop cooperation on security and sharing classified information. They recognise that effective cooperation requires access to this information, and that this type of exchange requires appropriate security measures.

The agreements provides a legal framework where one party provides classified information to the other, but they do not oblige either party to provide such information.

Classified information is defined as:

  • any information or material whose loss or unauthorised disclosure could damage or harm the interests of each party or one or more EU countries; and
  • is designated with a security classification as provided for in the agreement.

The agreements applies to the following EU institutions and bodies: the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European External Action Service and the European Commission.

Protection of classified information

  • Each of the parties must protect classified information provided by or exchanged with the other party to a level at least equivalent to that afforded by the party providing it.
  • All persons with access to classified information must have appropriate security clearance, based on loyalty, trustworthiness and reliability.
  • There are restrictions on how classified information is used, accessed and disclosed.

Decision 2013/488/EU (see summary) covers security rules for protecting EU classified information.

Other features

These include:

  • a commitment to provide mutual assistance in relation to keeping classified information secure;
  • procedures on how classified information is shared;
  • designation of who is responsible on each side for overseeing implementation of the agreement;
  • the responsibilities of each party in the event of loss or unauthorised disclosure of classified information;
  • dispute resolution;
  • how the agreement will enter into force, including how it can be amended or terminated.

FROM WHEN DO THE AGREEMENTS AND DECISIONS ENTER INTO FORCE?

They enter into force as follows:

Country

Decision

Agreement

United Kingdom

 

1 January 2021

Canada

29 May 2017

Not yet in force

Moldova

27 March 2017

Not yet in force

Georgia

15 March 2016

Not yet in force

Albania

15 January 2016

Not yet in force

Serbia

22 November 2010

Not yet in force

Australia

30 November 2009

Not yet in force

Liechtenstein

14 June 2010

Not yet in force

Russia

17 November 2009

Not yet in force

Israel

16 March 2009

Not yet in force

US

23 April 2007

30 April 2007

Iceland

21 November 2005

1 March 2007

Switzerland

24 June 2005

1 June 2008

Ukraine

13 June 2005

1 February 2007

North Macedonia

24 January 2005

1 August 2005

Norway

26 July 2004

1 December 2004

Bosnia and Herzegovina

26 July 2004

1 May 2006

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

MAIN DOCUMENTS

Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning security procedures for exchanging and protecting classified information (OJ L 444, 31.12.2020, pp. 1463-1474)

Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/2322 of 29 May 2017 concerning the signing and conclusion of the Agreement between Canada and the European Union on security procedures for exchanging and protecting classified information (OJ L 333, 15.12.2017, p. 1)

Agreement between Canada and the European Union on security procedures for exchanging and protecting classified information (OJ L 333, 15.12.2017, pp. 2-7)

Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/718 of 27 March 2017 concerning the signing and conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova on security procedures for exchanging and protecting classified information (OJ L 106, 22.4.2017, pp. 1-2)

Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova on security procedures for exchanging and protecting classified information (OJ L 106, 22.4.2017, pp. 3-7)

Successive amendments to the agreement have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Council Decision (EU) 2016/1946 of 15 March 2016 concerning the signing and conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and Georgia on security procedures for exchanging and protecting classified information (OJ L 300, 8.11.2016, pp. 1-2)

Agreement between Georgia and the European Union on security procedures for exchanging and protecting classified information (OJ L 300, 8.11.2016, pp. 3-7)

Council Decision (EU) 2016/402 of 15 January 2016 concerning the signing and conclusion of the Agreement between the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania and the European Union on security procedures for exchanging and protecting classified information (OJ L 74, 19.3.2016, pp. 1-2)

Agreement between the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania and the European Union on security procedures for exchanging and protecting classified information (OJ L 74, 19.3.2016, pp. 3-7)

Council Decision 2011/514/CFSP of 22 November 2010 concerning the signing and conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Serbia on security procedures for exchanging and protecting classified information (OJ L 216, 23.8.2011, p. 1)

Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Serbia on security procedures for exchanging and protecting classified information (OJ L 216, 23.8.2011, pp. 2-4)

Council Decision 2010/53/CFSP of 30 November 2009 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between Australia and the European Union on the security of classified information (OJ L 26, 30.1.2010, p. 30)

Agreement between Australia and the European Union on the security of classified information (OJ L 26, 30.1.2010, pp. 31-35)

Council Decision 2010/404/CFSP of 14 June 2010 concerning the signing and conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Principality of Liechtenstein on security procedures for exchanging classified information (OJ L 187, 21.7.2010, p. 1)

Agreement between the European Union and the Principality of Liechtenstein on security procedures for exchanging classified information (OJ L 187, 21.7.2010, pp. 2-4)

Council Decision 2010/348/EC of 17 November 2009 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the European Union on the protection of classified information (OJ L 155, 22.6.2010, p. 56)

Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the European Union on the protection of classified information (OJ L 155, 22.6.2010, pp. 57-60)

Council Decision 2009/558/CFSP of 16 March 2009 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement on security procedures for exchanging classified information between the European Union and Israel (OJ L 192, 24.7.2009, p. 63-63)

Agreement on security procedures for exchanging classified information between the European Union and Israel (OJ L 192, 24.7.2009, pp. 64-67)

Council Decision 2007/274/JHA of 23 April 2007 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Government of the United States of America on the security of classified information (OJ L 115, 3.5.2007, p. 29)

Agreement between the European Union and the government of the United States of America on the security of classified information (OJ L 115, 3.5.2007, pp. 30-34)

Council Decision 2006/467/CFSP of 21 November 2005 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Iceland on security procedures for the exchange of classified information (OJ L 184, 6.7.2006, p. 34)

Agreement between the Republic of Iceland and the European Union on security procedures for the exchange of classified information (OJ L 184, 6.7.2006, pp. 35-37)

Council Decision 2008/568/CFSP of 24 June 2005 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation on security procedures for the exchange of classified information (OJ L 181, 10.7.2008, p. 57)

Agreement between the Swiss Confederation and the European Union on the security procedures for the exchange of classified information (OJ L 181, 10.7.2008, pp. 58-61)

Council Decision 2005/481/CFSP of 13 June 2005 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine on the security procedures for the exchange of classified information (OJ L 172, 5.7.2005, p. 83)

Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union on the security procedures for the exchange of classified information (OJ L 172, 5.7.2005, pp. 84-86)

Council Decision 2005/296/CFSP, JHA of 24 January 2005 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on the security procedures for the exchange of classified information (OJ L 94, 13.4.2005, p. 38)

Agreement between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the European Union on the security procedures for the exchange of classified information (OJ L 94, 13.4.2005, pp. 39-44)

Council Decision 2004/843/CFSP of 26 July 2004 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway on security procedures for the exchange of classified information (OJ L 362, 9.12.2004, p. 28)

Agreement between the Kingdom of Norway and the European Union on security procedures for the exchange of classified information (OJ L 362, 9.12.2004, pp. 29-32)

Council Decision 2004/731/EC of 26 July 2004 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and Bosnia and Herzegovina on security procedures for the exchange of classified information (OJ L 324, 27.10.2004, p. 15)

Agreement between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Union on security procedures for the exchange of classified information (OJ L 324, 27.10.2004, pp. 16-19)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Council Decision 2013/488/EU of 23 September 2013 on the security rules for protecting EU classified information (OJ L 274, 15.10.2013, pp. 1-50)

See consolidated version.

last update 05.02.2021

Top