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WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE EU COUNTER-TERRORISM STRATEGY?
Article 83 TFEU gives the European Parliament and the Council the competence to adopt minimum rules concerning the definition of particularly serious crime with a cross-border dimension, of which terrorism is an example.
To combat terrorism effectively, the strategy focuses on 4 priorities (pillars):
Across these pillars, the strategy recognises the importance of cooperation with non-EU countries and international institutions.
Addressing the causes of radicalisation and terrorist recruitment is a key priority for the EU. The ‘prevention’ pillar aims to combat radicalisation and recruitment of terrorists by identifying the methods, propaganda and the instruments used by terrorists. The EU helps to coordinate national policies, determine good practice and share information.
The Revised EU Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism, as it was revised in 2014, aims at combatting radicalisation and recruitment while taking into account evolving trends, such as lone-actor terrorism, foreign fighters and the use of social media by terrorists. It has been further modified by a series of Council conclusions on responding to terrorist attacks on EU soil.
Protecting citizens and infrastructure and reducing vulnerability to attacks is the second priority of the EU counter-terrorism strategy. This includes:
Examples of ongoing work are:
The aim of the third pillar is to pursue terrorists across borders, while respecting human rights and international law. To achieve these goals, the EU’s focus is on:
An example of ongoing work is the implementation of the 2016 Action plan to strengthen the fight against terrorist financing.
Preparing, managing and minimising the consequences of a terrorist attack is the fourth objective of the EU counter-terrorism strategy. This is done by improving capabilities to deal with:
Priorities in this area include:
An example of ongoing work is the creation of an EU centre for the victims of terrorism (European Parliament pilot project).
Engagement with international partners
The EU’s security is closely linked with the situation in other countries, particularly in neighbouring states.
In June 2014, the European Council called for an effective counter-terrorism policy integrating the internal and external aspects. On 9 February 2015, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, EU leaders stressed the need for the EU to engage more with non-EU countries on security issues and counter-terrorism.
In its conclusions on EU External Action on Counter-terrorism from 19 June 2017, the Council stressed the need for:
It also noted that common security and defence policy missions and operations need to have a greater role in combating terrorism.
The counter-terrorism agenda is present in the relations between the EU and non-EU countries in many forms, including:
The EU cooperates on counter-terrorism with countries in:
Cooperation with the US is a fundamental component of the EU’s strategy. In recent years, cooperation agreements have been reached in areas such as terrorism financing, transport and borders, mutual legal assistance and extradition. The US authorities are working more and more closely with Europol and Eurojust.
The EU also works closely with other international and regional organisations and fora to build international consensus and promote international standards for fighting terrorism.
Consolidated version of the Treaty on Functioning of the European Union — Part Three — Union policies and internal actions — Title V — Area of freedom, security and justice — Chapter 4 — Judicial cooperation on criminal matters — Article 83 (ex Article 31 TEU) (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, pp. 80-81)
Council of the European Union, 30 November 2005: The European Union Counter-Terrorism Strategy
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions — Action Plan to enhance preparedness against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear security risks (COM(2017) 610 final, 18.10.2017)
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions — Action Plan to support the protection of public spaces (COM(2017) 612 final, 18.10.2017)
Council Conclusions on EU External Action on Counter-terrorism (19 June 2017)
Directive (EU) 2017/853 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2017 amending Council Directive 91/477/EEC on control of the acquisition and possession of weapons (OJ L 137, 24.5.2017, pp. 22-39)
Regulation (EU) 2016/794 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) and replacing and repealing Council Decisions 2009/371/JHA, 2009/934/JHA, 2009/935/JHA, 2009/936/JHA and 2009/968/JHA (OJ L 135, 24.5.2016, pp. 53-114)
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on an Action Plan for strengthening the fight against terrorist financing (COM(2016) 50 final, 2.2.2016)
Council Decision (EU, Euratom) 2015/457 of 17 March 2015 repealing Decision 2007/124/EC, Euratom establishing for the period 2007 to 2013, as part of General Programme on Security and Safeguarding Liberties, the Specific Programme ‘Prevention, Preparedness and Consequence Management of Terrorism and other Security related risks’ (OJ L 76, 20.3.2015, pp. 1-2)
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions — The European Agenda on Security (COM(2015) 185 final, 28.4.2015)
Council Decision 2010/412/EU of 13 July 2010 on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the processing and transfer of Financial Messaging Data from the European Union to the United States for the purposes of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (OJ L 195, 27.7.2010, pp. 3-4)
Successive amendments to Decision 2010/412/EU have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the processing and transfer of Financial Messaging Data from the European Union to the United States for the purposes of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (OJ L 195, 27.7.2010, pp. 5-14)
Council Regulation (EC) No 2580/2001 of 27 December 2001 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism (OJ L 344, 28.12.2001, pp. 70-75)
See consolidated version.
last update 23.07.2018