International Competences

The National Security Authority ensures that exchange of national classified is adequately protected. This also applies to classified information from international organizations of which Belgium is a Member State or Party.

Consequently, to exchange classified information, Security Agreements must be in place to determine the implementing rules and safeguards. Through these agreements, companies and administrations can bid on classified contracts. These agreements also strengthen cooperation between national security authorities which, among other things, is important in the context of security investigations.

In addition, the National Security Authority (NSA) will represent Belgium in security committees of international organizations.

Through these endeavours,  our country contributes to the development of international standards on information security.

 

Cooperation with other countries 

The NSA is responsible for the negotiation and implementation of general security agreements that allow for the exchange and mutual protection of classified information with other countries. These agreements also allow companies holding a Facility Security Clearance valid in Belgium to subscribe to classified contracts in other countries.

Security Agreements are agreements between two States that regulate the exchange and mutual protection of classified information in sensitive sectors.

So far Belgium has general security agreements with:

  • Germany
  • France
  • Luxembourg
  • United States
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

The negotiation and ratification by general security agreements with Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, France (revision), Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom are ongoing.

The National Security Authority will continue to launch new negotiations with partner countries as long as warranted by economic interests and need for security cooperation.

 

Cooperation in the framework of international organizations

Several international organizations holding Belgium as member State or Party exchange classified information. This includes the European Union (EU), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Each of these organizations has developed a regulatory framework to ensure the exchange and mutual protection of classified information. The practical rules are drawn up by Security Committees in which Member States and Parties are represented.

Also, some programs rely on accreditation councils to ensure that communication and information systems that handle classified information meet the applicable safety standards. All these security rules are applicable to both governments and the private sector, for example in the context of classified contracts.

The National Security Authority represent Belgium in these Security Committees and Accreditation Councils. As such, Belgium contributes to the development of international standards on Information security.

In the table below you will find a list of international organizations of which Belgium is a Member and which exchange classified information, as well an overview of the applicable security regulations regarding the protection of classified information:

Council of the European Union

EU Council decision of September 23, 2013 on the security rules for protecting classified information

European Commission

DECISION (EU, Euratom) 2015/444 DECISION of March 13, 2015 on the safety requirements for the protection of EU classified information

DECISION (EU, Euratom) 2015/443 DECISION of March 13, 2015 on safety within the Commission 17.3.2015 L 72/41

European External Action Service

Decision of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of June 15, 2011 on the security rules for the European External Action Service 2011 / C 304/05, 15.10.2011 C 304/7

European Agencies

In addition to the aforementioned EU institutions, there are other EU agencies that can generate according to their respective founding act classified information (receiving / handling / sending) and share them with Belgian government. These are:

LISA; FRONTEX; ENISA; EASO; EMCDDA; CEPOL; EASA; CEDEFOP; EDA; GSA; EIOPA; ESMA; EUISS; SATCEN; Europol and Eurojust

Intergovernmental agreement between the EU Member States

September 3, 2015 law approving the Agreement between the Member States of the European Union, within the framework of the Council, regarding the protection of classified information exchanged in the interest of the European Union, done at Brussels on May 25, 2011

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)

17 FEBRUARY 2002 - Law approving the Agreement between the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty for the security of information, and with the Annexes I, II and III, done at Brussels on March 6, 1997 (1)

C-M (2OO2) 49 Security within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

European Space Agency

2 FEBRUARY 2004 - Law approving the Agreement between the States Parties to the Treaty establishing the European Space Agency and the European Space Agency concerning the protection and exchange of classified information, done in Paris on August 19 2002.

Eurocorps

19 JUNE 2008 - Law approving the Convention on the Eurocorps and the status of its Headquarters between the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Kingdom of Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg, and the Final Act, signed in Brussels on November 22 20074, p. 15822.

SECURITY REGULATIONS REGARDING THE PROTECTION OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION WITHIN THE EUROPEAN CORPS (EC)

Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation  (OCCAR)

1 May 2006 - Act of May 1, 2006 approving the OCCAR Security Agreement between the Government of the French Republic, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Government of the Italian Republic and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, done in Paris on September 24, 2004 OCCAR.

European Air Transport Command (EATC)

Under negotiation

 

Secure Satellite Navigation

An important strategic program is the development of a European satellite navigation system named Galileo. Within Galileo also a Public Regulated Service (PRS), a secure navigation system, is provided which is accessible only to government departments. This navigation service uses encrypted signals with a view to better management of critical transportation, critical infrastructure and emergency services. It will also contribute to improved law enforcement, crisis management and border controls.

The National Security Authority is the surveillance authority for the use of and access to PRS on the entire Belgian territory.