EU sets out new measures to counter terrorism
The European Commission today presented a set of operational and practical measures to prevent terrorism and better defend EU citizens. The measures aim to address vulnerabilities exposed by recent attacks and further strengthen the EU's external action on counter-terrorism.
Bilateral and multilateral cooperation with third countries in the fight against terrorism and organised crime is a prerequisite to strengthen the Union's internal security. The proposed measures announced today include strengthening cooperation between the EU's law enforcement agency Europol and third countries. Before the end of the year, the EU will discuss opening negotiations for agreements on the transfer of personal data between Europol and Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey. Such agreements will further strengthen Europol's capabilities to engage with these third countries for the purposes of preventing and combatting terrorism and serious crimes.
The EU will also discuss becoming a party to the 2005 Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism and its Additional Protocol. The Convention relates to the criminalisation of terrorist and terrorist-related activities, to international cooperation regarding such offences and to protection, compensation and support for victims of terrorism. The Additional Protocol furthers a common understanding of, and response to, offences related to foreign terrorist fighters. The EU signed the Convention and its Additional Protocol in October 2015. With the adoption of the Directive on Combating Terrorism in March this year, the EU has now transposed all the provisions of the instrument, paving the way to completing its commitment to become a party to the Convention and its Additional Protocol.
The EU is also working to implement the June 2017 decision on EU External Action on Counter-Terrorism. This includes:
- Strengthening the network of counter-terrorism experts in EU Delegations;
- Enhancing cooperation between Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations and EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies;
- Stepping up international cooperation with partner countries, key strategic partners and key regional and multilateral partners.