Report EPRS: Cost of Non-Europe in the Fight Against Terrorism
On 28 May 2018, the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) published a report on the cost of non-Europe in the fight against terrorism. It continues the series of several cost- of- non-Europe reports increasingly covering the European criminal law field, such as the cost of non-Europe reports on organised crime and corruption (see eucrim 1/2016, p. 10 and the article by Wouter van Ballegooij in eucrim 2/2016, pp. 90-93), on procedural rights and detention conditions (see eucrim 4/2017, p. 174), and on equality and the fight against racism and xenophobia (published in March 2018). The interim results of the relevant studies on the added value of EU mechanisms in the AFSJ was presented in October 2017 (see the untapped potential of the AFSJ, eucrim 4/2017, p. 163).
Cost-of-Non-Europe (CoNE) reports generally aim at examining the possibilities for gains and/or the realisation of a “public good” through common action at the EU level in specific policy areas and sectors. They attempt to identify areas that are expected to benefit most from more in-depth EU integration and for which the EU’s added value is potentially significant. CoNE reports are part of setting the EU’s legislative agenda.
The latest cost-of-non-Europe report on terrorism (for a summary, see here) was authored by Dr. Wouter van Ballegooij and Piotr Bakowski (both in the EPRS). The annexed paper was produced by RAND – a non-profit global policy think-tank – at the request of EPRS. The report maps the current gaps and barriers and estimates both economic impact and the impact on individuals in terms of protecting their fundamental rights and freedoms. In the final section, it provides options for action and cooperation at the EU level to address the identified gaps and barriers, in addition to an estimate of their potential costs and benefits.
It is estimated that, since 2004, terrorism has cost the EU about €185 billion in lost GDP and around €5.6 billion in lost lives, injuries and damages to infrastructure. Trade, foreign direct investment, and tourism is also harmed. The report also states, however, that certain counter-terrorism measures have had a disproportionate effect on suspects and wider groups within society, in particular in violation of fundamental rights.
The report mainly concludes that EU action could address gaps in effectiveness and fundamental rights protection by developing an evidence-based EU criminal policy cycle involving the European Parliament and national parliaments. It is further argued that the effectiveness and fundamental rights compliance of counter-radicalisation programmes should be strengthened, the framework for counterterrorist financing further refined, and a European law enforcement culture fostered.