The Sunday Times - UK
22 November 1998

Germany wants 007 licensed to spy for Europe 
by Stephen Grey and John Goetz Bonn 

THE name's Bond, Euro Bond: the German government is drawing up plans
for a European Union spy agency as part of a proposed "harmonisation" of
Europe's intelligence services. 

British intelligence is wary of becoming too intimate with foreign
bodies such as the BND, Germany's accident-prone foreign security
service. But as the EU moves towards the development of a common foreign
and security policy, Gerhard Schroder, the German chancellor, has
started pressing for agents and facilities to be shared. 

"I simply see a common intelligence service as a part of the logic of
the development of Europe," said Ernst Uhrlau, the former Hamburg police
chief appointed to oversee Germany's intelligence services under

"After the common currency, the goal for us is much stronger
integration," he said. "If Europe is to find its own identity and assert
its strength, then it needs its own intelligence assets." 

British sources point out that many military secrets are already shared
between NATO allies. Intelligence officials are also involved in the new
Europol police agency, based in Holland, with close co-operation to
combat terrorism and drug smuggling. 

This does not go far enough for Bonn. In recent international crises,
including those in Kosovo and the Gulf, continental European countries
have often had to rely on whatever intelligence America has chosen to
provide. The Germans worry that this puts London, which has a special
intelligence-sharing arrangement with Washington, in a privileged

However, Washington is thought to be unwilling to trust French and
German agencies with sensitive information, such as any detail that
might blow the cover of an agent in the field. 

In recent months Germany has drawn up a series of agreements to exchange
secret information with France. A joint network of listening posts in
the Dordogne, French Guiana and New Caledonia, is used by both powers to
tap into telecommunications satellites, including those carrying
American phone calls. 

The Franco-German network aims to rival the system run by Britain's
communication headquarters, GCHQ, at Cheltenham, in co-operation with
America's National Security Agency, which maintains a listening facility
at Menwith Hill, in North Yorkshire. 

However, demands for a common agency may be too much for Germany's
allies, even the French. "There will certainly be warm interest in
expanding co-operation with the Germans," said an intelligence source in
Paris. "But any talk of combining our services will be regarded as
premature in France." 

Britain is expected to be even cooler. Feelings towards the French, in
particular, will only have been worsened by a Paris court's refusal last
week to extradite David Shayler, the renegade MI5 agent. 

"German foreign intelligence, the BND, has been one of the most
penetrated spy services in the world," said a British security source.
"The French security services have also been highly penetrated. And they
have been routinely involved in assassinations and undercover wars in
Africa, not to mention blowing up the [Greenpeace boat] Rainbow Warrior,
which would never be acceptable in Britain." 

Rupert Allason, the intelligence expert, said history should not be
forgotten. "We fought two world wars to prevent German involvement in a
pan-European security apparatus and we will certainly not accept
anything even vaguely like it now," he said.