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A common threat

Police cooperation / Justice and home affairs / External relations / Security and defence - 06-12-2016 - 11:07 / 03-04-2017 - 15:45

Terrorism: a threat without borders

Nearly all European countries have been affected by terrorism in one form or another and tackling it has never been easy. The attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015 demonstrated once again the challenge of finding a rapid and effective response to those who would destroy us, while safeguarding our freedom and way of life.(read more...)

Security: "We need to work quickly and effectively in order to combat terrorism"

Only days after the terrorist attack in London the civil liberties committee discussed the EU's security situation with German Interior Minister Interior Thomas de Maizière and his French counterpart Matthias Fekl debated on 27 March. Both ministers spoke about the need to secure the EU's external borders, to better share information between EU countries and to address the new challenges of radicalisation and terrorism.(read more...)

Stopping foreign fighters at EU external borders

All EU citizens and third country nationals entering or leaving the EU will be systematically checked against databases, e.g. of lost and stolen documents, under a regulation voted on Thursday. The new rules were agreed by Parliament’s negotiators and the Council of Ministers on 5 December 2016.(read more...)

Vicky Ford: "The goal of gun control legislation is to close loophole exploited by terrorists"

Terrorists have been able to make use of reconverted weapons but new rules aim to put an end to this. Yesterday the internal market committee approved an update of the EU firearms directive to ensure that any firearm which has been converted to firing blanks continues to be covered by EU law. UK ECR member Vicky Ford, the MEP responsible for steering the new rules through Parliament, said: “The goal of this legislation was to close the loophole that was exploited during the Paris attacks.”(read more...)

Parliament backs EU directive on use of Passenger Name Records (PNR)

The new directive regulating the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data in the EU for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime was approved by Parliament on Thursday. It will oblige airlines to hand national authorities passengers' data for all flights from third countries to the EU and vice versa.(read more...)

Don’t equate refugees with terrorists – boost security instead, urge MEPs

“Political grandstanding” that equates refugees with terrorists only foments the hatred and disillusion that inspires those who join terrorist groups, argued many MEPs in Wednesday’s debate. Rather than allow Europe’s freedoms and tolerance to be eroded, EU countries must strive to strengthen security, by stepping up intelligence cooperation and data-sharing, and investing in the skills and technology needed to fight terrorism, MEPs urged.(read more...)

German Foreign Minister: "There are no obvious recipes for tackling terrorism"

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier discussed the repercussions of Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris with the foreign affairs committee on 16 November. "There are no obvious recipes for tackling terrorism," Steinmeier said, adding "Military action alone will not be sufficient in overcoming the problem." Meanwhile committee chair Elmar Brok, a German EPP member, warned against confusing migration and terrorism: "Refugees are the victims of terror, not part of the terror."(read more...)

Terrorism: tackling the threats to the EU's security

Terrorism continues to pose a threat to Europe's security, but what is the best way to tackle it? The Parliament's civil liberties committee held a hearing on 14 April to discuss with experts the evolving terrorist threats, the fight against extremism and radicalisation and what the EU could do to help.(read more...)

Timothy Kirkhope: "PNR is a key tool for tackling terrorism and criminality"

Timothy Kirkhope is the MEP responsible for drafting the Parliament's report on the Passeneger Name Record (PNR) proposal. He describes PNR as “very important when dealing not only with recent events like terrible terrorism attacks in Paris, but also of course with major criminality”. As the debate over PNR intensifies, watch our video where he addresses questions and concerns from NGOs and airlines over the balance between freedom and security.(read more...)

Infographic: how Parliament is addressing the terrorism threat

Europeans becoming radicalised and travelling to fight in Iraq or Syria represent a growing threat to the EU. Most of the recent terrorist attacks in Europe were perpetrated by home-grown terrorists. MEPs adopted on 16 February new rules to ensure stronger checks at the EU's external borders and prevent the preparation of terrorist acts. Check out our infographic for an overview of measures to tackle terrorism Parliament has been working on.(read more...)

No more: fighting terrorism on all fronts

Parliament is working on a range of measures to crack down on terrorism. MEPs are due to vote on plans to make the preparation of terror attacks a criminal offence throughout the EU as well to impose checks on European citizens entering and leaving the EU. Some 5,000 Europeans already travelled to conflict zones to join terrorist groups and returning fighters pose a security risk. Watch our video to find out more about Parliament’s efforts to help Europe fight terrorism.(read more...)

Taking off: MEPs back passenger name records

Following the 11 September attacks in 2001, the United States asked for access to the personal information of transatlantic air passengers in order to better track down potential terrorists. Establishing common rules on this in the EU has been on the agenda for years. Last December Parliament and member states agreed on a provisional agreement. MEPs approved the directive on 14 April 2016.(read more...)

Crime prevention: experts speak out on new gun control rules

The terrorist attacks in Paris last November have led to the European Commission proposing updated rules to prevent guns ending up in the wrong hands. However, could these new rules have unintended consequences? The internal market committee debated the proposals and their possible impact with experts during a hearing on Tuesday 15 March.(read more...)

Mutual defence clause: what the requirement to help out other member states means

The mutual defence clause, requiring EU countries to help a member state under attack, was invoked for the first time by France in November in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. In a resolution adopted on 21 January, MEPs said this cooperation should serve to strengthen European security and defence and also called for a stronger role for EU institutions. Check out our infographic and learn more about the legal basis and its implications.(read more...)

Europol: helping EU countries fight international crime and terrorism

Crime and terrorism doesn't stop at the borders so the European Police office - better known as Europol - helps EU countries to fight these international menaces. However, as threats evolve, so should Europol. National governments have now agreed to upgrade the agency's counter-terrorism capabilities. The civil liberties committee votes on Europol’s new powers on Monday 30 November. Read on to find out more about what Europol does.(read more...)

“We will not be poisoned by these criminals”: Parliament honours Paris victims

MEPs and Parliament staff sang the Marseillaise and held a minute of silence to commemorate the victims of last week’s terrorist acts in Paris during a short ceremony on 17 November in Parliament's plenary chamber in Brussels. “The attacks in Paris were an attack on our freedoms, an attack against our European values and our way of life, an attack against all of us," said EP President Martin Schulz. "In our grief, we Europeans stand side to side with the French people."(read more...)

Rachida Dati on the radicalisation of EU citizens: "A truly European response is needed"

An estimated 5,000 European citizens have joined terrorist organisations fighting in Iraq and Syria. With the issue of foreign fighters posing challenges for governments across the EU, a report on preventing the radicalisation and recruitment of Europeans by terrorist organisations was adopted by the civil liberties committee on 19 OCtober. Ahead of the vote, we asked Rachida Dati, the French EPP member who drafted the report, why it is important to address this phenomenon at EU level.(read more...)

EU counter-terrorism coordinator: “Jail is a major incubator of radicalisation”

With the threat of terrorism growing every day, the task of Gilles de Kerchove, the EU’s counter-terrorism coordinator, becomes increasingly more important. It’s his job to coordinate the Council's work in combating terrorism, keep an eye on all the instruments available to the EU and make policy recommendations. We talked to him about how terrorism should be fought and the role the European Parliament could play.(read more...)

Security vs civil liberties: the impact of the Paris terrorist attacks

After the initial shock came the reactions. Just days after the attacks in Paris, governments and politicians started calling for more tools to fight terrorism. How will such measures sit alongside the rights of citizens to privacy or freedom of movement? We talked to Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, chair of the subcommittee on security and defence, and Claude Moraes, chair of the justice committee.(read more...)

“Je suis Charlie”: Parliament pays tribute to victims of Charlie Hebdo attack

The European Parliament has marked a minute of silence to commemorate the victims of the deadly attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo. MEPs and staff members were joined by members of the public as they stood outside the Parliament building in Brussels on 8 January to pay their respects to the 12 people who died the previous day. “Like you, like all of us, I am Charlie,” said EP President Martin Schulz in a short statement before the minute of silence.(read more...)

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