Brussels, 6 November 2007
The Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on combating terrorism constitutes a key tool in the fight against terrorism. It harmonises the definition of terrorist offences in all Member States and ensures that they establish for natural and legal persons having committed or being liable for such offences penalties and sanctions, which reflect the seriousness of such offences. It sets out jurisdictional rules to guarantee that terrorist offences may be effectively prosecuted and adopts specific measures with regard to victims of terrorist offences because of their vulnerability.
Proposal for an amendment of the Framework Decision on combating terrorism
The proposed amendment of the Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on combating terrorism is intended to harmonise national provisions on public provocation to commit a terrorist offence, recruitment for terrorism and training for terrorism, so that these forms of behaviour are punishable, also when committed through the Internet, throughout the EU, and ensure that existing provisions on penalties, liability of legal persons, jurisdiction and prosecution applicable to terrorist offences, apply also to such forms of behaviour.
Individuals disseminating terrorist propaganda and bomb-making expertise through the Internet- can therefore be prosecuted and sentenced to prison insofar as such dissemination amounts to public provocation to commit terrorist offences, recruiting for terrorism or training for terrorism and is committed intentionally.
In these cases, courts or administrative authorities would be able to request internet service providers to remove this information according to national rules implementing the Directive on electronic commerce.
The wording which is proposed is as close as possible to the wording of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of terrorism which provides for an excellent example of how the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes can be dealt with in a way which respects the freedom of speech. The very comprehensive impact assessment and consultation work which has been part of the preparation of this proposal have also contributed to ensuring that it is well-balanced in terms of its effects on freedom of speech and general respect for human rights.
Evaluation report on the implementation of the Framework Decision on combating terrorism
The first evaluation report was adopted on 8 June 2004 and covered Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
This second report covers all Member States but Romania and Bulgaria and distinguishes between Member States which were already assessed in the said report and Member States evaluated for the first time. The former are examined on the basis of the findings of the previous report and the complementary information they have provided. Regarding the latter, a full and original evaluation is required.
It states that the implementation is generally satisfactory although points out some major issues concerning specific Member States. A staff working paper associated with this report contains a detailed analysis of national measures taken to comply with the Framework Decision, as well as a table specifying, in accordance with the information received by the Commission, the national provisions transposing each of the Articles.