The European Union is building an EUR 8 million secure bunker in Brussels so that EU leaders can discuss secrets without Russian spies or others eavesdropping on them, the EUobserver online newspaper reported on July 8, with reference to an EU memo describing the project.
It is noted that the chamber could host around 100 people – up to 34 leaders and their 34 note-takers, as well as protocol, technical, and catering staff.
The room will be offline but equipped with internal big-screen conferencing technology and microphones hardwired to equally secure booths for 30 interpreters.
Both the meeting room and booths will be enclosed in a NATO-certified insulation cage to "mitigate the risk of exploitation of compromising emanations" – electro-magnetic and radio waves generated by IT screens and wires, which can be remotely intercepted.
Also, EU leaders and staff will have to leave their phones, laptops, smart watches, electronic key fobs and even hearing aids in soundproof lockers outside the chamber.
According to EUobserver, the facility is to be built by 2024 in the EU Council complex in Brussels, which already hosts summits. The exact location has not been decided yet, but officials are looking for somewhere near the normal EU summit room so that leaders can go back and forth more easily.
It comes after Russia brought back war to Europe by invading Ukraine and amid EU plans to create a joint armed forces alongside NATO.