EP Tables Recommendations for New EU Strategy to Combat Terrorism
On 12 December 2018, MEPs adopted a resolution that contains over 225 recommendations for tackling the threat of terrorism. The resolution goes back to a report from MEPs Monica Hohlmeier (EPP, Germany), and Helga Stevens (ECR, Belgium), who compiled the findings of the Special Committee on Terrorism (TERR).
The Special Committee was established in 2017 following the persistent terrorist threats that the EU has had to face in recent years. The Committee was mandated with examining, analysing, and assessing the extent of the terrorist threat on European soil. It carried out a thorough assessment of the existing forces on the ground in order to enable the EU and its Member States to step up their capacity to prevent, investigate, and prosecute terrorist offences.
The resolution of December 2018 makes recommendations in the following areas:
- Institutional framework;
- Terrorist threat;
- Prevention and countering of radicalisation leading to violent extremism;
- Cooperation and information exchange;
- External borders;
- Terrorist financing;
- Critical infrastructure protection;
- Explosive precursors;
- Illicit weapons;
- External dimension;
- Victims of terrorism;
- Fundamental rights.
The EP requests, inter alia, that the role of Europol and the EU agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems (eu-LISA) be reinforced. Furthermore, improvements in information exchange and cooperation between intelligence services and authorities are necessary. Other proposals include:
- EU watch list for hate preachers;
- Allowing the police to cross-check persons renting cars against police databases;
- Anti-radicalisation measures, including programmes for prisons, education, and campaigns;
- Proper checks at all external borders using all relevant databases;
- Including private planes in the PNR Directive;
- European system of licences for specialised buyers of explosive precursors;
- Better protection of victims, including the creation of an EU Coordination Centre of victims of terrorism (CCVT), pre-paid medical costs after an attack, and smoother insurance procedures.
The work of TERR was finalized on 14 November 2018 by the committee’s vote on the Hohlmeier/Stevens report. Further information on the work of this special committee during its mandate can be found on the committee’s website.