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Brussels, 20 July 2010
EU Counter-terrorism strategy: main achievements
The 2005 EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy consists of four strands: prevent, protect, pursue and respond. The Communication adopted today follows that structure, highlighting the major achievements for each of the four strands.
Prevent: Addressing radicalisation and recruitment
At the initiative of the Commission, the Framework Decision on combating terrorism was amended in 2008 to deal more specifically with prevention aspects: once in force (December 2010), it will be possible to prosecute and punish people who try to involve others in terrorist activity by encouraging them or by providing them with the information they need to commit attacks, such as bomb-making recipes.
The Commission also seeks to promote a public/private partnership approach for countering terrorist use of the internet. It has started a dialogue between law enforcement authorities and service providers in order to reduce the dissemination of illegal terrorism-related content on the internet. A European Agreement Model to facilitate public/private cooperation on the issue is under development.
Protect: Protection of people and infrastructure
Protecting people and infrastructure is the second objective of the Counter-Terrorism Strategy, covering EU-wide threat assessments, security of the supply chain, protecting critical infrastructures, transport security and border controls, as well as security research.
In the area of cyber security, the Framework Decision on attacks against information systems was established in 2005, and a 2009 Communication established a plan of action to deal specifically with threats to the critical information infrastructure. The Commission has also developed an EU Action Plan for Enhancing the Security of Explosives which was approved by Council in April 2008. The implementation of the 50 concrete actions to minimise the risk of terrorist attacks with explosives is under way, and involves Europol and Member State authorities.
The Directive on European Critical Infrastructures (adopted at the end of 2008) focuses on the procedure for identifying and designating ECI and includes a definition of European Critical Infrastructure.
Pursue: Police and judicial cooperation
A significant number of instruments enhancing the gathering and exchange of information between police and judicial authorities of the Member States have been agreed in recent years. These include the Data Retention Directive, the integration of the Prüm framework into EU legislation and the Framework Decision on simplifying the exchange of information and intelligence between law enforcement authorities.
The European Arrest Warrant has facilitated the transfer of persons suspected of serious crimes, including acts of terrorism, between the Member States. The first phase of the European Evidence Warrant, which makes it easier to obtain evidence in another Member State was also adopted. The functioning of Europol was enhanced by way of its new legal framework and new rules have been established to tackle terrorist financing, in particular the third Anti-Money Laundering Directive.
Respond: Crisis management and solidarity
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism ensures a coordinated response to any crisis, including terrorist attacks, capitalising on the Member State's capabilities. The Commission is now looking into ways of reinforcing coordination and cooperation to facilitate consular protection, notably during crises, and will present a Communication to this end in the autumn of this year. The EU's role in crisis and disaster management will need to be further developed, in particular through an enhanced civilian rapid response mechanism. The arrangements to make the solidarity clause, which was introduced in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Article 222), operational will need to be established quickly.
Funding: Supporting EU policies and Member States actions
Over the period 2007-2013, a total amount of 745 million € has been set aside to support policies to counter terrorism and organised crime by way of the EU financial programme Security and Safeguarding Liberties. Dozens of projects to support the implementation of the EU counter terrorism strategy have been funded from these programmes, and the number of applications continues to rise.
Victims of terrorist attacks have been consistently supported by the Commission, including by financing activities aimed at improving their situation. Over the last five years, around € 5 million has been made available to support victims of terrorism.
For more information
Homepage of Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs: