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European Commission - Press release
Internal Security: The EU needs better tools to fight crime, terrorism and extremism
Brussels, 25 November 2011 – Four out of ten EU citizens think that the EU needs better tools to fight organised crime, terrorism and extremism, according to a Eurobarometer poll released today by the European Commission. Today, the Commission also published the first report on the Internal Security Strategy launched last year, outlining issues that need to be given further attention and taking stock of progress made.
As security threats emerge and evolve, the EU must be ready to respond. In July this year, a right-wing extremist in Norway carried out a devastating terrorist attack. In August, public authorities in the UK seized 1.2 tonnes of cocaine in a record haul. Across the EU, cyber attacks increasingly wreak havoc on public and private computer systems. These are stark reminders of the importance of taking action to counter threats to internal security.
"The attacks in Norway earlier this year made it strikingly clear that our societies are facing security threats that are growing in scale and sophistication. No single Member State can respond to these threats on its own – we have to work together to achieve our security objectives, and to respond in an effective way to the concerns European citizens are expressing about their security" said Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.
A fresh Eurobarometer opinion poll shows that four out of ten Europeans want the EU to do more to tackle the security challenges outlined in the ISS. Many Europeans also believe that the threats will intensify over the next three years, with cybercrime seen as the security challenge most likely to worsen (see MEMO/11/829).
They are not far off the mark, as the ISS report shows that there are at least three emerging threats of particular concern. Firstly, the internet, now an integral and indispensable part of our everyday lives, is becoming an online facilitator for a wide range of criminal activities and a vehicle for terrorist propaganda. Secondly, the impact of the ongoing economic crises means that public authorities have fewer resources available to combat internal security threats. Thirdly, recent developments in the EU's neighbourhood, including the overwhelmingly positive, democratic developments of the Arab Spring, have created considerable movements of people. This, in turn, puts pressure on the EU's external border and, in some cases, creates conditions for increased criminal activity.
In 2012, as a concrete follow up to the priorities identified in the ISS, the EU Commission will, amongst other measures, adopt a package on confiscation and recovery of criminal assets, organise a high level conference on countering violent extremism and develop an overarching European strategy for Internet security.
As part of the Stockholm Programme, in November 2010, the Commission adopted the Internal Security Strategy in Action and outlined five priorities for the EU for the coming four years (see IP/10/1535 and MEMO/10/598).
The first annual report, released today, highlights progress in the following areas:
For more information
Read the ISS report:
Special Eurobarometer Report on Internal Security:
Homepage of Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs
Homepage DG Home Affairs: