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Document 52017DC0354

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL AND THE COUNCIL Eighth progress report towards an effective and genuine Security Union

COM/2017/0354 final

Brussels, 29.6.2017

COM(2017) 354 final

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL AND THE COUNCIL

Eighth progress report towards an effective and genuine Security Union


I.INTRODUCTION

This is the eighth monthly report on the progress made towards building an effective and genuine Security Union and covers developments under two main pillars: tackling terrorism and organised crime and the means that support them; and strengthening our defences and building resilience against those threats.

In recent weeks, Europe has once again been hit by a series of terrorist attacks. On 22 May 2017, Manchester was the victim of a heinous terrorist attack when a bomb was activated outside a concert hall, killing 22 persons many of them teenagers. Twelve days later, on 3 June 2017, London was once again attacked when terrorists ploughed indiscriminately into pedestrians crossing London Bridge before carrying on their murderous assault on foot with knives in nearby Borough Market. On 18 June a similar van attack outside a mosque killed and injured innocent worshipers. Most recently on 19 June 2017, a terrorist tried to attack police officers on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris but was shot dead. On 20 June 2017, Belgian security forces shot dead an attempted suicide bomber at Brussels Gare Central whose bomb had failed to detonate. The volume and tempo of these attacks once again highlight the vital importance of fighting violent extremism and the challenge facing Member States both in thwarting attacks and in preventing and countering the radicalisation that fuels them.

This report sets out the measures taken at EU level to prevent and counter radicalisation, taking stock of the progress made in response to the challenges of radicalisation one year after the adoption of the June 2016 Commission Communication supporting the prevention of radicalisation leading to violent extremism 1 . The report also provides an update on progress made in the implementation of other priority files on security, with the next steps taken to enhance the exchange of information through the interoperability of information systems and to implement the Action Plan on terrorist financing 2 to detect and prevent terrorist funding.

The European Council conclusions 3 of 22-23 June 2017 reiterated and reinforced the Union's resolve to cooperate to fight the spread of radicalisation online, to coordinate the work on preventing and countering violent extremism and addressing the ideology, to thwart the financing of terrorism, to facilitate swift and targeted exchanges of information between law enforcement authorities, including with trusted partners, and to improve the interoperability between databases. The recent Taormina G7 Summit statement 4 on the fight against terrorism and violent extremism sent a strong signal of the international resolve to tackle the growing menace of terrorism and underlined the need for further concerted action at global level.

Finally, this report also addresses the increased cyber threat and sets out short-term actions to counter it, drawing on the lessons learned from the reaction to the WannaCry attack.

II.    EU ACTION SUPPORTING THE PREVENTION OF RADICALISATION

Although violent radicalisation is not a new phenomenon, recent terrorist attacks in the EU have shown both the alarming speed and scale at which some EU citizens have become radicalised. Terrorist recruiters deploy a range of different techniques to target the vulnerable. The use of digital communication tools presents new and particular challenges for Member States authorities. Countering radicalisation through a multi-faceted EU-level response, both on-line and off-line, therefore plays a key role in supporting Member States in countering terrorism.

To counter radicalisation online, the Commission has been working over the last two years with key internet platforms including under the EU Internet Forum to ensure the voluntary removal of online terrorist content. In these activities real progress has been made in removing terrorist content online 5 and countering illegal hate speech online 6 , but there is still much more to do. The European Council conclusions of 22-23 June 2017 set out that "building on the work of the EU Internet Forum, the European Council expects industry to establish an Industry Forum and to develop new technology and tools to improve the automatic detection and removal of content that incites to terrorist acts. This should be complemented by the relevant legislative measures at EU level, if necessary". The Commission hosted a Senior Officials Meeting of the EU Internet Forum on 27 June 2017 to agree further action with key internet service providers to combat terrorist content online. The aim is that internet platforms do more, notably to step up the automated detection of terrorist content, to share related technology and tools with smaller companies, and to make full use of the 'database of hashes' including by providing Europol with access to key information and establish a reporting system on removed terrorist content. In addition, to complement the work done by Europol's Internet Referral Unit, the Commission calls on all Member States to establish national Internet Referral Units and develop a network between them for joint engagement with internet platforms and Europol's Internet Referral Unit.

As witnessed by recent attacks, the unprecedented scale of radicalisation also requires further action to support prevention and anti-radicalisation at national and local level. The Commission will swiftly establish 7 a High-Level Expert Group on Radicalisation to facilitate the further development of EU policies in this area. The Group will be tasked with giving impetus to further work in high priority areas such as prison radicalisation, online terrorist propaganda, and returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters. The work of the Group will aim to bolster the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) which has been at the forefront of the Commission's work to support Member States in this area, working with local practitioners at community level. 8 Most recently, on 19 June 2017, the network presented a “Responses to Returnees” manual to support Member States in addressing the challenges posed by returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters. This manual provides an overview of approaches from practitioners to address different scenarios of persons returning from conflict zones. In the coming months, the network will organise a series of workshops for national authorities to elaborate further on these practices and encourage action in the Member States.

The complex challenges around radicalisation require a multi-faceted response including long-term measures, as set out in the June 2016 Communication on preventing radicalisation leading to violent extremism. 9 Over the last year, the Commission has implemented most of the key actions identified in other areas related to prevention and anti-radicalisation. 10 To support Member States in addressing radicalisation in prison, a dedicated Prison and Probation Group under the Radicalisation Awareness Network was set up to provide guidance to front-line practitioners such as prison and probation staff, psychologists and religious representatives. Education plays a key role in preventing radicalisation, and the Commission has taken a series of steps to implement the Paris Declaration on promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education. The Erasmus+ programme is central in that respect. 11 Given the links between marginalisation, vulnerability and radicalisation, the European Pillar of Social Rights 12 , adopted on 26 April 2017, is an important element in addressing some of the root causes of radicalisation and violent extremism. 13 To strengthen the cohesion of European societies, the Commission is also implementing the Action Plan on the integration of third country nationals 14 with a wide set of measures to support Member States and other actors in their integration efforts.

On the external side, the EU is working in international fora – notably the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and institutions 15 flowing from the Global Counter Terrorism Forum – to support prevention and anti-radicalisation in partner countries in the Western Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa region, including training of relevant professionals and financial support for grass-roots initiatives engaging in prevention efforts. A new Erasmus+ Virtual Youth Exchange initiative will be launched in 2018 to increase intercultural awareness and understanding between young people inside and outside the EU. The Radicalisation Awareness Network also deployed experts to support preventive action in Turkey, the Western Balkans and Tunisia.

III.    EU ACTION ADDRESSING CYBER THREATS AND CYBERCRIME

The May 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack was a wake-up call highlighting gaps in the current cybersecurity framework, notably in terms of preparedness and cooperation. As announced already before the attack, in the Digital Single Market mid-term review, the Commission is accelerating its work on cybersecurity, including through its review of the 2013 Cybersecurity Strategy. The Commission and the European External Action Service are assessing progress made in implementing the current Strategy. The aim is to identify gaps that will be addressed in the review of the Strategy in September 2017.

In parallel to that and responding to the lessons learned from the reaction to the WannaCry attack, a number of short-term actions should now be taken to strengthen our response to the increased cyber threat. This includes the need to move forward quickly to strengthen our resilience, especially on issues relating to operational cooperation.

The WannaCry attack was the first incident prompting cooperation in the network of national Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT network) established under the Network Information Security (NIS) Directive. The incident demonstrated that the system was not yet fully operational. It also showed a clear need to accelerate the on-going work to improve existing IT tools, and deploying additional capabilities to enable further cooperation among national CSIRTs. To strengthen these teams, the Commission will provide funding of EUR 10.8 million to 14 Member States under the Connecting Europe Facility, with two-year projects starting by September 2017. Another call for proposals is currently open and all remaining Member States are invited to submit their funding applications.

Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) led the law enforcement response to this attack. To strengthen the centre and the services it provides, it is necessary to equip it with further IT expertise. For that, Europol's Management Board should improve by September 2017 the possibilities for the recruitment of IT specialists under Europol's internal rules. This work at Europol will be further supported with additional staff in 2018.

The EU Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-EU) supports EU Institutions to protect themselves against intentional and malicious attacks that would hamper the integrity of their IT assets and harm the interests of the EU. The Commission will now accelerate the formal process of putting CERT-EU on a stronger footing, by concluding arrangements between the relevant institutions and bodies in order to strengthen the collective response to threats. This includes the European Parliament, the Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Central Bank, the Court of Auditors, the European External Action Service, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, and the European Investment Bank. The Commission will shortly sign an inter-institutional administrative agreement with the other institutions and bodies.

These short-term actions are part of the wider review of the 2013 Cybersecurity Strategy that will follow in September 2017, accompanied by the necessary action to reinforce the Union's cyber resilience and security. The European Council conclusions of 22-23 June 2017 welcome the Commission's intention to review the Cybersecurity Strategy in September and to propose further targeted actions before the end of the year.

Successful deterrence also requires effective traceability, detection, investigation and prosecution. Access to electronic evidence is a key issue in this respect. Criminal justice frameworks currently still reflect traditional concepts of territoriality and are challenged by the cross-jurisdictional nature of electronic services and data flows. The European Council conclusions of 22-23 June 2017 underline that effective access to electronic evidence is essential to combating serious crime and terrorism and that, subject to appropriate safeguards, the availability of data should be secured. At the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 8 June 2017, Ministers expressed broad support for practical measures proposed by the Commission to improve the situation within the current legislative framework. Ministers also invited the Commission to present a legislative proposal as soon as possible, bearing in mind the technical and legal challenges. On that basis, the Commission will continue to implement practical measures and while working on an impact assessment to inform possible future legislative action to be presented as soon as possible.

Encryption is an equally important issue in this context. Encryption is vital for the protection of cybersecurity and personal data. Its abuse by criminals, however, creates significant challenges in the fight against serious forms of crime, including cybercrime and terrorism. The European Council conclusions of 22-23 June 2017 call for addressing the challenges posed by systems that allow terrorists to communicate in ways that competent authorities cannot access, including end-to-end encryption, while safeguarding the benefits these systems bring for the protection of privacy, data and communication. As requested by the Justice and Home Affairs Council in December 2016, the Commission is working closely with EU agencies and industry to identify how to support law enforcement authorities in overcoming the most significant challenges, taking into account the implications for cybersecurity and fundamental rights. Together with Europol, Eurojust, the EU Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, the Commission discussed all aspects of this important matter with relevant experts in a series of workshops. The Commission will report its findings to the European Parliament and the Council by October 2017.

On the external side, the Council agreed on 19 June 2017 to develop a framework for a joint EU diplomatic response to malicious cyber activities, the cyber diplomacy toolbox. 16 The framework for a joint EU diplomatic response will make full use of measures within the Common Foreign and Security Policy, including, where necessary, restrictive measures. Any joint EU response to malicious cyber activities should be proportionate to the scope, scale, duration, intensity, complexity, sophistication and impact of the cyber activity. The framework seeks to encourage cooperation, facilitate mitigation of immediate and long-term threats, and influence the behaviour of potential aggressors in the long term. Together with Member States, the Commission and the European External Action Service will put in place implementing guidelines in the months to come, including preparatory practices, communication procedures and exercises.



IV. IMPLEMENTATION OF OTHER PRIORITY FILES ON SECURITY

1. Next steps towards the interoperability of information systems

As set out in the seventh progress report, 17 the Commission is taking further action to implement the new approach to the management of data for borders and security. On 28 June 2017, the Commission presented a legislative proposal 18 to strengthen the mandate of eu-LISA. 19 The agency will play a crucial role in the technical work towards the interoperability of information systems, including with ongoing technical analysis on the identified solutions to achieve this. Subject to the adoption of the relevant legislative proposals by the co-legislators, the proposed changes to its mandate will give eu-LISA responsibility for the development of interoperability solutions, thus ensuring the technical implementation of this new approach. The European Council conclusions of 22-23 June 2017 indicate the importance of the interoperability of information systems for internal security and the fight against terrorism.

The Commission also presented on 28 June 2017 a supplementary proposal to its January 2016 proposal 20 to facilitate the exchange of criminal records of third-country nationals in the EU through the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS). 21 This supplementary proposal responds to the discussions with the co-legislators on last year's proposal and is part of the Commission's approach on the interoperability of information systems. The improvement of the ECRIS with regard to information exchange on third-country nationals is a legislative priority identified in the Joint Declaration 22 of the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission.

There is also progress on other priority files on information systems. Discussions continued between the co-legislators on the proposed EU Entry/Exit System 23 , with trilogue meetings held on 31 May, and 13, 19 and 26 June 2017. The Council agreed on a general approach on the proposed European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) 24 at the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 8/9 June 2017. The vote in the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on the tabled amendments to the proposal is scheduled for September 2017, and trilogue negotiations are expected to start in October 2017. It is essential that the European Parliament and the Council move forward on these priority proposals, as again underlined in the European Council conclusions of 22-23 June 2017.

On 29 May 2017, the Commission, together with the European Data Protection Supervisor, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, presented to the LIBE Committee the findings of the High-level Expert Group on Information Systems and Interoperability 25 and the Commission's new approach to the management of data for borders and security. On 8 June 2017, the Council adopted conclusions 26 on information exchange and interoperability, welcoming the Commission's views and the proposed way forward to achieve the interoperability of information systems by 2020 on the basis of the recommendations of the High-level Expert Group. Building on these discussions, the Commission will further work with the European Parliament and the Council to achieve the interoperability of information systems by 2020.

2. EU Action to cut off sources and channels of terrorist financing

Work is on-going to implement the February 2016 Action Plan on terrorist financing along two main strands of action: to detect and prevent terrorist funding, and to disrupt the sources of revenues. In December 2016, the Commission presented three legislative proposals to complete and reinforce the EU legal framework in the areas of money laundering 27 , illicit cash flows 28 and freezing and confiscation of assets. 29 The Commission calls on the co-legislators swiftly to advance the work on these important proposals.

In addition, the co-legislators made considerable progress in the negotiations on the amendments to the 4th Anti-money Laundering Directive, based on a legislative proposal of July 2016. 30 The Commission remains fully committed to a swift finalisation of the on-going trilogues. Taken together, these measures complete the commitments the Commission had undertaken to do in the Action Plan. 31 They will also ensure the EU meets its international obligations in this area as agreed in the context of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism (Warsaw Convention).

As set out in the Action Plan, the Commission also intends to adopt a proposal to address illicit trade in cultural goods to extend the scope of the current legislation to additional third-countries. The Commission also envisages a proposal to give law enforcement and other public authorities access to bank account registers. Moreover, the Commission recently adopted a report on the assessment of supranational risk of money laundering and terrorist financing 32 , as well as a staff working document on improving cooperation between Financial Intelligence Units. 33 Later this year the Commission will report on its ongoing assessment of the need for possible additional measures to track terrorist financing in the EU. The Commission is also reviewing legislation on combatting fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payments to take account of newer forms of crime and counterfeiting in financial instruments, with the aim to decrease its occurrence and deter potential criminal activities such as terrorist financing.



3. External dimension

The need to reinforce the external dimension of countering terrorist financing and money laundering is highlighted in the conclusions the Foreign Affairs Council adopted on 19 June 2017 on the external dimension of counter-terrorism. 34 The conclusions confirm the geographic and thematic priorities for future external counter-terrorism activity, namely strengthening counter-terrorism cooperation with priority third countries in the Middle East, North Africa, the Western Balkans and Turkey, as well as with strategic partners and international organisations. The conclusions have been strongly informed by the non-paper on external counter-terrorism action that the European External Action Service and the Commission presented in May 2017 to Member States.

On 16 June 2017, the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting took place in Malta, which was the first such meeting with the new U.S. Administration. The U.S. affirmed their wish to continue close cooperation with the EU and emphasised the need for swift information sharing in the fight against terrorism and organised crime. The Commission outlined the actions the EU is taking against Foreign Terrorist Fighters, with a focus on transatlantic information sharing. The EU and U.S. provided updates on actions against radicalisation online and offline, on developments regarding passenger name record (PNR) data, money laundering, border management and aviation security. On the question of risks to aviation security from personal electronic devices, the EU and U.S agreed to continue working together on raising global aviation security standards. The Commission updated Member States on the discussion and possible mitigating measures at the Committee for Civil Aviation Security on 21 June 2017, and will continue working closely with the U.S. at technical and political level to address developing threats.

V.    CONCLUSION

This report focusses of the actions taken in the past months towards building an effective and genuine Security Union. The increase of terrorist attacks in recent weeks and months are another reminder of the importance of this work and the need to accelerate delivery. The actions outlined in this report require urgent implementation to counter the heightened threat of terrorism, to strengthen cooperation at EU level to prevent and counter radicalisation, to cut off the financing of terrorism and to step up the exchange of information and achieve the interoperability of information systems to close information gaps. The European Council conclusions of 22-23 June 2017 confirm the importance and urgency of this on-going work. The Commission calls on the European Parliament and the Council to continue and intensify these joint efforts to enhance the security of all citizens.

The next Security Union progress report in July 2017 will set out the results of the comprehensive assessment of the Union's action in the area of internal security and the conclusions the Commission draws from that inclusive consultation process launched in December 2016.

(1)  COM(2016) 379 final (14.6.2016).
(2)  COM(2016) 50 final (2.2.2016).
(3)   http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/european-council/2017/06/22-23-euco-conclusions_pdf/ .
(4)   http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/05/26-statement-fight-against-terrorism/ .
(5)  Through Europol's Internet Referral Unit (IRU), 30.000 pieces of terrorist material have been referred to the internet platforms, with an average removal rate of 80-90%. Moreover, the internet industry-led initiative to create a 'database of hashes' ensures that once terrorist material is taken down on one platform, it is not uploaded on another platform.
(6) The Commission agreed in May 2016 on a Code of Conduct countering illegal hate speech online signed by Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft, committing to review and remove content upon notifications of illegal hate speech quickly and efficiently. One year after its adoption, the Code has delivered significant progress. The companies have removed content in twice as many cases of illegal hate speech, and at a faster rate, as compared to before the agreement on the Code.
(7)  The Commission will establish this Group in July 2017.
(8)  The Radicalisation Awareness Network has offered training and advice to Member States, and developed a large number of best practices, guidelines, handbooks and recommendations. Themes and issues covered include polarisation, prison radicalisation and exit programmes, family support measures, youth work and education, community policing, communication and narratives, engagement and empowerment of young people.
(9)  See table in Annex 1 listing the action taken to implement the June 2016 Communication.
(10)  The June 2016 Communication focuses on seven specific areas: (1) supporting research, evidence building, monitoring and networking; (2) countering terrorist propaganda and hate speech online; (3) addressing radicalisation in prisons; (4) promoting inclusive education and EU common values; (5) promoting an inclusive, open and resilient society and reaching out to young people; (6) the security dimension of addressing radicalisation; and (7) the international dimension.
(11)  Under the Erasmus+ programme, in 2016 more than EUR 200 million were devoted to developing new policy approaches and practices through 1200 transnational partnership projects, involving local actors and with a focus on inclusive education, youth work, citizenship and intercultural education. A new toolkit, developed in cooperation with Member States' experts, provides youth workers with guidance and advice when working with young people at risk of violent radicalisation. The Commission also launched a Role models network implemented through Erasmus+. This initiative will allow local actors to benefit from small amounts of EU funding to set up pools of role models to embark in activities to promote social inclusion among pupils and young people.
(12)   https://ec.europa.eu/commission/priorities/deeper-and-fairer-economic-and-monetary-union/european-pillar-social-rights/european-pillar-social-rights-20-principles_en .
(13)  In May 2017, the Commission launched an online public consultation with a view to prepare a proposal for a Council Recommendation on promoting social inclusion and shared values before the end of 2017. The aim is to establish a policy framework to support Member States in promoting inclusive education that fosters ownership of shared values, contributing to preventing radicalisation leading to violent extremism.
(14)  COM(2016) 377 final (7.6.2016).
(15)  The Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), the Hedayah Centre of Excellence on Countering Violent Extremism and the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law.
(16)   http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-9916-2017-INIT/en/pdf .
(17)  COM(2017) 261 final (16.5.2017).
(18)  COM(2017) 352 final (29.6.2017).
(19)  European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice.
(20)  COM(2016) 7 final (19.1.2016).
(21)  COM(2017) 344 final (29.6.2017).
(22)   https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/joint-declaration-legislative-priorities-2017-jan2017_en.pdf .
(23)  COM(2016) 194 final (6.4.2016).
(24)  COM(2016) 731 final (16.11.2016).
(25)   http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regexpert/index.cfm?do=groupDetail.groupDetailDoc&id=32600&no=1 .
(26)  Council conclusions on the way forward to improve information exchange and ensure the interoperability of EU information systems: http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-9448-2017-INIT/en/pdf .
(27)  Proposal for a Directive to harmonise the definition and criminal sanctions of money laundering, COM(2016) 826 final (21.12.2016).
(28)  Proposal for a Regulation to uncover illicit cash payments, COM(2016) 825 final (21.12.2016).
(29)  Proposal for a Regulation on the mutual recognition of criminal asset freezing and confiscation orders, COM(2016) 819 final (21.12.2016).
(30)  COM(2016) 450 final (5.7.2016).
(31)  See table in Annex 2 listing the action taken to implement the February 2016 Action Plan.
(32)  COM(2017) 340 final (26.6.2017).
(33)  SWD(2017) 275 (26.6.2017).
(34)   http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/06/19-conclusions-counterterrorism/ .
Top

Brussels, 29.6.2017

COM(2017) 354 final

ANNEX

State of play of implementing the actions set out in the Commission Communication on supporting the prevention of radicalisation leading to violent extremism

to the

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council and the Council

Eighth progress report towards an effective and genuine Security Union


STATE OF PLAY OF IMPLEMENTING THE ACTIONS SET OUT IN THE COMMISSION COMMUNICATION ON

SUPPORTING THE PREVENTION OF RADICALISATION LEADING TO VIOLENT EXTREMISM

(COM(2016) 379 final of 14.6.2016)

Key Actions

Timing

Description/State of play

1.1.    Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) Centre of Excellence to provide support to Member States in designing and implementing effective prevent work.

Ongoing

In 2016, the Radicalisation Awareness Network has provided 19 support services to Member States.

In 2017, the Radicalisation Awareness Network is planning to provide 20 such support services through workshops, train-the-trainer events and expert missions.

1.2.    The Radicalisation Awareness Network Centre of Excellence to provide guidelines and handbooks for establishing multi-agency structures.

Ongoing

In 2016 and 2017, the Radicalisation Awareness Network issued a number of topical papers (including on addressing radicalisation in the prison and probation context, on how to set up multi-agency cooperation structures at local level, counter narratives, training for police officers, addressing radicalisation in schools, etc.) which are accessible under: https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/networks/radicalisation_awareness_network/ran-papers_en  

On 19 June 2017, the network presented a “Responses to Returnees” manual to support Member States in addressing the challenges posed by returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters. The manual provides an overview of approaches from practitioners to address different scenarios of persons returning from conflict zones.

1.3.    The Radicalisation Awareness Network Centre of Excellence to create a platform for exchange of experiences and practices, through further mapping of research on radicalisation.

Ongoing

In 2016, the Radicalisation Awareness Network mapped the latest research findings and gaps in research areas relevant for the work of the different Radicalisation Awareness Network working groups.

2.1.    Establish a repository of prevent strategies at national level, regional or local level.

Ongoing

First version of the repository of national prevent strategies was established and is online: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/networks/radicalisation_awareness_network/ran-and-member-states/repository/index_en.htm ).

The content will be regularly updated.

2.2.    Establish networks of practitioners

Ongoing

The Radicalisation Awareness (RAN) Network Centre of Excellence has been established supporting the RAN. RAN continues to offer to tailor made support for Member States for, amongst others, establishing national networks of practitioners.

2.3.    Establish national/regional contact points in Member States

Ongoing

Launch of the network of prevent policy makers in February 2017.

3.1.    Mobilise research under Horizon 2020 on the complex root causes of violent radicalisation in order to deliver concrete tools to allow better informed policy interventions.

Ongoing

The "Secure Societies" Work Programme of Horizon 2020 for 2016-2017 includes a topic on the development of a comprehensive approach to violent radicalisation in the EU. Four projects of total amount of EUR 12 million were recently selected: PERICLES, MINDb4ACT, PRACTICIES and TRIVALENT.

The Commission is now launching the reflection on the 2018-2019/20 Work Programme where research on anti-radicalisation will play a key role.

The 'Inclusive, innovative and reflective Societies' work programme of Horizon 2020 for 2016-2017 includes two relevant research topics on the societal contexts of radicalisation and on the interplay between global trends of secularisation and religious radicalisation.

Further research is conducted also within the Eurydice network, which provides information on education systems and policies in the EU.

4.1.    Under the EU Internet Forum: to develop a Joint Referral Platform to improve the speed and effectiveness of the referrals process

Ongoing

Four of large companies (Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft) have developed the prototype of a "database of hashes" which helps prevent terrorist content removed from one site simply being re-uploaded onto another. The tool is operational and companies are now looking into bringing other smaller companies on board.

4.2    Under the EU Internet Forum: to set up a civil society empowerment programme to significantly ramp up the training and support for civil society partners in order to enhance the volume of effective positive alternative narratives delivered online.

   

Ongoing

The kick-off of the Civil Society Empowerment Programme (CSEP) took place on 15/16 March 2017, with the objective to help civil society actors to challenge more effectively the terrorist narrative online. It will include trainings by the Radicalisation Awareness Network Centre of Excellence, supported by the European Strategic Communications Network and in close collaboration with industry partners. A call for proposals will be launched in a second phase (Q2/3 2017) and the effectiveness of the programme will subsequently be evaluated.

4.3    Additional action within Key Action 4:

   Conduct targeted research on terrorists' use of the Internet.

Ongoing

The Framework Programme 7 Project Voxpol presented and delivered a first round of research to the EU Internet Forum on 8 December 2016. The research focused on an overview of terrorism and violent extremism in 2016, the online behaviours of convicted terrorists, and future trends.

5.1.    The Radicalisation Awareness Network Centre of Excellence to provide for a platform of exchange of experiences and best practices in enhancing media literacy and critical thinking on the internet.

Ongoing

The Radicalisation Awareness Network "Education" working group organised a large scale meeting on citizenship, media literacy and critical thinking in November 2016.

Under the Education and Training 2020 Working Group on promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education, a peer learning event was organised in The Netherlands on media literacy in April 2016, followed by Council conclusions by the Education Council in May 2016.

5.2.    The Radicalisation Awareness Network Centre of Excellence to develop an EU-wide campaign with a view to strengthening resilience against radicalisation online to provide alternative narratives or alternative actions (Exit Hate campaign).

Ongoing

The "EXIT HATE" six-week pilot campaign, a platform to showcase initiatives and positive stories (including for and by youngsters) from around Europe that promotes alternatives to extremist propaganda, was launched in September 2016.

6.1.    Commission and relevant IT companies to monitor the public commitments in the code of conduct countering illegal hate speech online, including their impact.

 

Ongoing

The results of the a second monitoring of the implementation of the Code of Conduct was presented on 31 May 2017 and showed significant progress in terms of removal rates and speed. At the same time, work needs to further focus on improving transparency and feed-back to users (see point 6.2).

The Council reached a general approach on the proposal for a revised directive on Audio Visual Media Service (AVMS) on 23 May 2017. One of the objectives to the proposed amendments to the AVMS Directive is to ensure that video-sharing platforms be required to take appropriate measures to protect citizens from incitement to violence or hatred (flagging and/or reporting).

6.2.    Commission and relevant IT companies to improve transparency in the application of notice and take down procedures.

Ongoing

Further work with the IT Companies will focus on procedures vis-a-vis specific users affected by notifications as well as against the general public and encourage counter and alternative narratives. The mid-term review on the implementation of the Digital Single Market Strategy issued on 10 May 2017 confirmed the need to continue working towards minimum procedural requirements for the ‘notice and action' procedures of online intermediaries.

Additional action 1 on online dimension:

   Support civil society in monitoring and diminishing the attraction and impact of hate speech through the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme

Ongoing

In 2017, the Commission has increased the funding devoted to combat racism and xenophobia to EUR 7 million, out of which EUR 1,5 million is allocated specifically to counter hate speech online including through the development of counter-narratives.

Additional action 2 on online dimension:

   Continue financing the Strategic Communications Advisory Team/Strategic Communications Network, to develop the appropriate policy framework, communication campaigns or individual initiatives

Ongoing

The European Strategic Communications Network (ESCN), a Belgian-led project, buils on the Syria strategic communication advisory team (SSCAT) project tasked with organising and facilitating a Network of Member States to share best practice on the use of strategic communications in countering terrorism and violent extremism. It is co-financed by the Internal Security Fund-Police (ISF-Police) action grant (maximum amount of EUR 1.150.000).

7    The Radicalisation Awareness Network Centre of Excellence to exchange good practices and formulate policy recommendations on the prevention of radicalisation for first-line practitioners (including where appropriate judges and prosecutors), covering the prison and probation sector.

Ongoing

The Radicalisation Awareness Network working group on Prisons and Probation continues to foster exchanges of best practices amongst practitioners and will report on its activities at the end of 2017.

The Justice programme provides operating grants to the European Organisation of Prison and Correctional Services (EuroPris) which brings together prison administrations and to the Confédération Européenne de Probation (CEP). Those organisations organise regular meetings amongst practioners to discuss issues relating to radicalisation.

The Erasmus+ programme supports training programmes in prisons aimed at preventing and tackling radicalisation. The Radicalization Prevention in Prisons (R2PRIS) Project was launched in December 2015 to help frontline staff (correctional officers, educational staff and psychologists, social workers, etc) to identify, report and interpret signals of radicalisation and respond appropriately. The project is implemented in five countries, (Portugal, Norway, Turkey, Belgium and Romania) and will include 160 training session by August 2018.

8    Provide financial support to help Member States to develop risk assessment tools.

Ongoing

In line with the strategic focus on preventing radicalisation in prisons and integrating rehabilitation into the criminal justice response, the Commission launched two calls for proposals in 2015 through the Justice Programme 2014-2020:

a)JUST/2015/JCOO/AG/TERR: Action grants to support judicial cooperation in criminal matters relating to the criminal justice response to terrorism and violent radicalisation. (budget of EUR 1 million; three projects selected).

b)JUST/2015/JTRA/AG/EJTR: Action grants to support European judicial training. (budget of EUR 1,5 million available for the part on “judicial aspects of the fight against terrorism and organised crime” and “prevention of radicalisation in detention”- five projects selected)

In 2016, there was a single call for judicial cooperation (JUST-JCOO-TERR-AG-2016) with a budget of EUR 4 million which also includes judicial training in the area of radicalisation (10 projects were selected and three were put on the reserve list).

In the 2017 Justice annual work programme (under Judicial cooperation in criminal matters), priority is given to the efficient contribution to the European Agenda on Security as regards the judicial responses to terrorism, notably on countering terrorist financing and on reinforcing the prevention of radicalisation, especially in prisons.

9    Support the development of education and training programmes in prison (including vocational training) to enable detainees to ease their reintegration into society.

Ongoing

Erasmus+ can support adult learning projects which can target up-skilling and reintegration measures in prisons. Several projects (selected under the 2016 Erasmus+ social inclusion call) were launched in January 2017, for a total of EUR 1,3 million.

The European Social Fund supports a wide range of social inclusion measures related to de-radicalisation and professional reinsertion after prison.

10.    Support the development of rehabilitation programmes for prisoners by Member States and the exchange of best practices and policies in the field of the execution of penal sanctions.

Ongoing

Funding for the development of rehabilitation programmes and exchanges of best practices is provided by the Commission, see key action 8.

11    Promote the sharing of information at Eurojust by specialised prosecutors.

Ongoing

Eurojust will continue to gather its national correspondents for terrorism matters to continue exchanging views at tactical meetings. Eurojust will continue issuing:

   the Terrorism Conviction Monitor (TCM)

   the Foreign Fighters reports

   Additional action on prisons:

   Support training of prison and probation staff and of judges and prosecutors.

Ongoing

In May 2016, the Commission has organised a conference for training providers to counter terrorism and radicalisation in May 2016 and is collaborating with the European Network of Penitentiary Training Academies (EPTA), Europris and the Confédération Européenne de Probation to establish more sustainable cross-border cooperation on training for prison and probation staff on de-radicalisation measures.

The RAN, EuroPris and EPTA are preparing a collection of training interventions and activities for prison professionals.

RAN and IMPACT Europe consortium have been offering training to stakeholders in Member States in evaluating interventions to prevent and counter radicalisation in the prison and probation context.

To speed up the setting-up of all the projects that are emphasised in the Council Conclusions on Criminal Justice, the Commission is making financial resources available (more than EUR 6.5 million in 2015 and 2016).

12    Propose a Council Recommendation to enhance social inclusion and promote Europe’s fundamental values through education and non-formal learning.

End of 2017

Preparatory work is on-going, in particular in the ET 2020 Working Group on promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education. A 12-week online public consultation was launched on 19 May 2017.

13    Make available through Erasmus+ more than EUR 400 million in 2016 to transnational partnerships to develop innovative policy approaches and practices at grass-root level, prioritising social inclusion, the promotion of common values and intercultural understanding. Erasmus+ will scale up actions developed at grass-root level with a dedicated envelope of EUR 13 million in 2016.

 

Ongoing

The implementation of the Paris Declaration is a cross-cutting priority of the Erasmus+ programme. Targeted calls for proposals have been launched to support inclusion and fundamental values (Key Action 2, with more than EUR 200 million devoted in 2016). The projects selected in 2016 have started or will start in 2017.

In addition,

- A EUR 13 million call to disseminate, replicate and upscale existing good practices at grass-root level (Key Action 3) attracted a great interest from stakeholders and was concluded in July 2016 (with 35 projects selected).

- Two priorities focusing on specific objectives of the Paris Declaration in a multi-sector call for European policy experimentations with 5 projects selected (4 on education and training, 1 on youth).

In 2017, the Erasmus+ continues to support transnational partnerships as a cross-cutting priority (Key Action 2). Moreover, EUR 10 million will be spent on disseminating, replicating and upscaling existing good practices at grass-root level (Key Action 3) to promote inclusive and democratic schools (call closed in May 2017, selection ongoing).

14    Establish a network to facilitate direct contacts with positive role models in schools, youth, sport clubs and prisons.

Ongoing

The aim of the action is to set up pools of role models at national level to embark on activities to promote social inclusion, prevent exclusion and radicalisation as well as encourage active citizenship and commitment to shared values. The initiative is rolled out gradually by Erasmus+ National Agencies throughout 2017-2018.

The “RAN Young” platform to empower young people to take an active role in the prevention of radicalisation has been launched at the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN). High Level Conference on Radicalisation on 9 November 2016. As a result, RAN Young Ambassadors will elaborate recommendations and co-organise meetings where participants are asked to provide their views and recommendations on policy responses and practitioners' work. RAN Young is interacting with other organisations and initiatives such as the Extremely Together initiative of the Kofi Annan foundation, YouthCAN and the OSCE Youth Ambassadors.

15    Promote the award of student credits for volunteering and the development of curricula that combine academic content with civic engagement through Erasmus+.

Ongoing

The Commission, in close cooperation with Erasmus+ National Agencies and higher education institutions, will raise awareness on how to award European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System for non-formal learning, including volunteering. Within the ongoing review of the Diploma Supplement (higher education supplement used within the 48 countries of the Bologna process/European higher education Area), the Commission will promote recognition of "volunteering" or similar non-formal learning activities that are part of a qualification.

Additional action 1 on Education:

   Equip teachers to address diversity in the classroom and pass on common values to pupils and to detect early signs of radicalisation and to continue supporting exchanging of best practices through eTwinning and within the The Radicalisation Awareness Network working group on education (RAN EDU).

Ongoing

Funded under the Erasmus+ programme, eTwinning is an online platform which for the past 12 years has connected more than 470 000 teachers and 180 000 schools across Europe. The potential of eTwinning will be fully exploited with a greater focus on themes linked to citizenship with the objective of empowering teachers to become active agents for a more inclusive and democratic education. To that end, the 2017 annual theme is inclusion.

In 2017, the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) "Education" working group will focus mainly on types of training for teachers, on the role of higher education in the fight against radicalisation and on media literacy and critical thinking. In 2017, RAN Manifesto will be updated (“Education Manifesto 2.0") offering practical guidelines for schools, lessons learned and policy recommendations.

Additional action 2 on Education 2:

   Work closely with the Council of Europe and UNESCO to better implement existing tools designed to support teachers.

Ongoing

Within the ET 2020 Working Group on citizenship and common values, the Commission is collaborating closely with Council of Europe and UNESCO to better exploit synergies and make best use of existing tools (including teachers’ guide).

The Radicalisation Awareness Network has provided expertise for the UNESCO teacher's guide “A teacher’s Guide on the Prevention of violent radicalisation”, published in 2016, which provides guidance, inter alia, related to the management of classroom discussion and the key messages to deliver.

16    Continue to work with the European Parliament and the Council towards the adoption of the anti-discrimination directive.

Ongoing

Commission to continue to provide technical support to the Council Presidencies to improve the text of the draft Directive, while working towards building political agreement within the Council.

17    Foster social inclusion of disadvantaged groups through policy measures and the European Social Fund (ESF) and Programme for Employment and Social Innovation.

Ongoing

Under the framework of ET 2020 dedicated Working Groups (on schools and on citizenship education) focus on inclusion of disadvantaged groups.

The European Social Fund as well as Employment and Social Innovation programme are investing in social inclusion of disadvantaged groups (poverty network, capacity building for Non-Governmental Organisations dealing with these groups, specific projects in the Member States through ESF, awareness raising activities, etc.).

18    Enhance support to youth workers and organisations, particularly by developing a toolkit.

Ongoing

A report with practical toolbox was published in February 2017. The toolbox aims at providing youth workers with guidance and advice when working with young people at risk of violent radicalisation. The policy recommendations addressed to authorities from the local to European level focus on the cooperation among various sectors to effectively prevent violent radicalisation of young people.

The Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) working group on Families, Youth and communities will build on the toolbox to develop a RAN manifesto on involving young people and empowering youth work to prevent radicalisation .

19    Strengthen the European Voluntary Service by increasing its budget.

Ongoing

In 2016, priority was given to projects supporting the implementation of the Paris Declaration.

In 2017, the budget of the European Voluntary Service (EVS) has been substantially increased.

Since the launch of the European Solidarity Corps in December 2016, about 30,000 young citizens from all Member States have registered for participation. It is expected that by by 2020, in total 100,000 young citizens will have participated in its volunteering and occupational strands.

20    Propose to revise the Schengen Information System to further improve its added value for law enforcement and counter-terrorism purposes.

Ongoing

Legislative proposals were adopted by the Commission on 21 December 2016.

Ongoing legislative negotiations.

21    Member States should proactively exchange all relevant information with other Member States, and Europol where appropriate, on released convicts suspected of radicalisation or known radical individuals, in order to ensure close monitoring of those representing a high risk.

Ongoing

Within the Radicalisation Awareness Network's work on guidance papers and toolkits for policy makers in establishing multiagency structures, the issue of improved information sharing on radicalised people is one of the priorities. The outcome of this work was presented and discussed at the last Radicalisation Awareness Network High Level Conference in November 2016.

The European Counter-Terrorism Centre (ECTC) at Europol aims to become a central information hub in the fight against terrorism in the EU, including information to the Focal Point Travellers as well as analysis of radicalisation risks. The Europol Information System (EIS) is positioned to serve as a central repository of law enforcement data, including the consolidated list of all known or suspected Foreign Terrorism Fighters.

The Directive on combating terrorism, adopted on 7 March 2017, reinforces the obligation on Member States to proactively transfer all relevant information on terrorist offences to other Member States. It also introduces a duty for the Member State receiving the information to take appropriate follow-up action.

22    Supporting international organisations in their work to counter violent extremism.

Ongoing

The EU actively works with the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in their efforts to counter violent extremism.

The Commission co-manages a related programme with the Council of Europe on human rights and citizenship education,.

The Radicalisation Awareness Network Centre of Excellence has established working relationships with international organisations to create synergies in the work on countering violent extremism, including Europris, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Council of Europe (including in particular activities of the Congress of Cities)

23    Additional initiatives to focus EU's external financial instruments on the prevention of violent radicalisation.

Ongoing

At the international level, the EU is promoting a strong focus on the prevention and countering of violent extremism (P/CVE) into political dialogues and assistance programmes. The EU has supported the UNSG Plan of Action for Preventing Violent Extremism and the development of national and regional P/CVE action plans. The EU is mainstreaming P/CVE. The EU has reinforced the capacity of the StratComm Task Force South, including in Arabic to promote positive narratives. With regard to financial instruments:

- The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa has provided a unique opportunity to engage intensively with third countries at risk and addressing root causes of radicalisation. Efforts continue to be made to draw on the experiences gained inside the EU (e.g. through the RAN) in an external context.

- In 2016, the Radicalisation Awareness Network supported expert missions on radicalisation to Turkey and Tunisia. Follow-up engagement with both these countries will continue in 2017. Efforts in Western Balkan countries to establish policies and framework conditions for multi-agency cooperation are supported via the First Line Project as well as assistance from the Radicalisation Awareness Network.

- Instrument for Pre Accession (IPA): One regional IPA project was approved in 2016 to support prevention and countering of violent extremism in the Western Balkans to share the Radicalisation Awareness Network approach, enhance resilience by involvement of communities and society more broadly; raising awareness on the risks inherent to radicalisation at schools and among youngsters, deliver countering violent extremism training for religious leaders and create web platforms on prevention and countering violent extremism and counter-terrorism.

- Through IPA national programmes, the EU will support Kosovo in strengthening de-radicalisation measures in the correctional and probation services; the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia with the implementation of the national strategy for fight against terrorism; in Albania via the EU police assistance project "PAMECA" 1[1] assistance to the law enforcement authorities and intelligence services will be provided on the fight against terrorism.

- The EU Delegation in Albania provided two grants of 300,000 euro each to empower civil society organisations and public security institutions on countering extremism and radicalisation.

- In Bosnia and Herzegovina there is an EU-funded project, on radicalisation risk in Zenica prison, in cooperation with the Islamic Community, engaging youth in preventing radicalisation is planned.

- The EU is also mainstreaming counter-terrorism/countering violent extremism matters in projects with civil society and non-security actors. Through the IPA Regional civil society facility (TACSO) dedicated countering violent extremism programmes are launched at country (in Albania for instance) or at regional level.

- European Neighbourhood Instrument: UNICRI pilot project (EUR 5 million) on preventing violent extremism in the Sahel and Maghreb region.

- The Commission is financing a large number of programmes, e.g. in the Middle East and North Africa region region or in Africa (Maghreb, Sahel, Nigeria, Niger, Chad).

The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) also support relevant programmes such as:

- Engaging Youth for Human Rights and Social Cohesion (EUR 600 000 - to be launched and running until 2019). Implementing partner: Generations for Peace.

- Beyond Radicalisation: Youth in Lebanon Speak Up! (EUR 600.000 to be launched and running until 2019). Implementing partner: Deutsche Welle.

- La jeunesse sahraouie, acteur central de la résolution pacifique du conflit - Algérie, Tindouf; civil society" - targeting Sahrawi refugee camps, in Tindouf (EUR 96 000; 2016 – 2018). Implemented by Oxfam-Solidariteit.

- Voix du Sud, Voix du Nord pour un meilleur vivre ensemble en Algérie pour garantir la démocratie en Algérie (EUR 0.5 million; to be launched and running until 2018).

24    Continue support to the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF) initiatives working on preventing and countering violent extremism.

Ongoing

The EU provides continued support to preventing and countering violent extremism at the community level through the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF) inspired initiatives including Hedayah - the International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism and the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF). Specifically, the Hedayah grant mechanism is now supporting grass root initiatives in Central Asia, the Western Balkans and Georgia with EU funding. The EU is also supporting GCERF activities in in Bangladesh, Kenya, Kosovo, Mali, and Nigeria as well as an innovative private sector initiative to mobilise co-financing from the private sector for GCERF activities.

The EU is co-chair of the GCTF Horn of Africa working group (with Turkey) and a member of the GCTF working group on countering violent extremism. Prenvetion and countering of violent extremism related issues (including Youth and Women) are a major element of work within the Horn of Africa working group. The EU is organising in summer 2017 two workshops for key stakeholders in the region to promote the Global Counter Terrorism Forum 'Life Cycle of Radicalisation' – a set of best practice documents.

25    Extending further eTwinning Plus networks to selected countries of the EU's neighbourhood.

Ongoing

The eTwinning Plus tool (which already covers Tunisia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia and Moldova) will be further extended to other countries of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. Discussions have already started with Algeria.

26    Launch a feasibility project for Erasmus+ Virtual Exchanges to promote online engagement of young people with the aim of reaching 200,000 young people by 2019.

Ongoing

The feasibility study has been finalised. It gives options on how to pilot and then fully roll out the initiative, covering key aspects such as recruitment of participants, recruitment and training of facilitators, what content is required to ensure intercultural awareness of participants is increased, the necessary IT platforms, and how participants will be recognised for their involvement. The objective is to begin the pilot with 1000-2000 young people in 2018, and broader roll out up by the end of 2019.

(1)

[1] For more information, see http://pameca.org.al/ .

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Brussels, 29.6.2017

COM(2017) 354 final

ANNEX

State of play of implementing the Action Plan for strengthening the fight against terrorist financing

to the

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council and the Council

Eighth progress report towards an effective and genuine Security Union


STATE OF PLAY OF IMPLEMENTING THE ACTION PLAN FOR STRENGTHENING THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORIST FINANCING (COM(2016) 50 final of 2.2.2016)

Objectives and Actions

Timing

Description/State of play

Preventing the movement of funds and identifying terrorist funding

Tackling the abuse of the financial system for terrorist financing purposes

Bring forward the date for effective transposition and entry into force of the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

At the latest by 4th quarter 2016

-01/01/2017 in the proposal for amendments to the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

-Superseded by ongoing negotiations (trilogues) to amend the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive – see below.

Adopt a list of high-risk third countries with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering/countering terrorism financing regimes.

At the latest by 2nd quarter 2016

-Delegated act with a EU list taking into account the Financial Action Task Force lists adopted on 14/07/2016, entered into force in September 2016.

-Further amendments to the delegated act rejected by the European Parliament.

-The Commission intends to step up its proactive engagement and coordination within Financial Action Task Force to influence its listing process of high risk third countries upstream.

-The Commission will also develop a new methodology for an EU assessment which does not only rely on external information sources. A roadmap which sets out the main steps towards such a new methodology, staged with detailed plans for the next 18 months and outlook into the following period, has been prepared.

-The EU should also proactively engage with "low capacity" countries to help them improve their situation in terms of prevention of money laundering/ terrorist financing.

Publish a report on a supranational assessment of money laundering and terrorism financing risks and recommendations to Member States on measures suitable to address those risks.

2nd quarter 2017

-Work ongoing.

-Scheduled for adoption late June 2017.



Propose amendments to the following points of the 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive:

-Enhanced due diligence measures/countermeasures with regards to high risk third countries;

-Virtual currency exchange platforms;

-Prepaid instruments;

-Centralised bank and payment account registers or electronic data retrieval systems;

-The access of Financial Intelligence Units to, and exchange of information.

At the latest by 2nd quarter 2016 - Done

-Proposal adopted by the Commission on 05/07/16. 

-Currently in advanced trilogue stage.


Improving the efficiency of the EU’s transposition of UN freezing measures, including by enhanced information between EU and UN.

At the latest by 2nd quarter 2016

-Work ongoing: Commission services have reduced the time needed to transpose new UN Islamic State/Al Qaida-related listings into EU legislation from 5 to 3 days on average – partly as a result of enhanced information-sharing by the UN Islamic State/Al Qaida sanctions committee.

-Commission services are exploring what could be done to bring the trans-position time to 2 days.

-General Secretariat of the Council was tasked to set up a database to monitor the entry bans in SIS based upon the UN sanctions. It will be available by 2017-2018.

Reinforcing the capacity of Member States, the Commission, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and economic operators to share information on challenges to implementation of restrictive measures, including to exchange information on new UN listings, via the Financial Sanctions Database.

At the latest by 2nd quarter 2016

-Work ongoing: The Commission is developing a new application of the Financial Sanctions Database that would enable it to transmit information on new UN listings before transposition into EU legislation (to be up and running by September);

-Commission services are exploring whether the Financial Sanctions Database could also be used to transmit information on Member States’ national listings.

Explore the possibility of a self-standing legislative instrument to allow for a broader consultation of bank and payment account registers for other investigations and by other authorities, beyond the scope of the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

At the latest by 2nd quarter 2016

-Work ongoing.

-Consultations took place with (i) the authorities managing the existing bank registers, (ii) the authorities that might have access to bank registers for purposes other than money laundering (law enforcement, Asset Recovery Offices, tax authorities, anti-corruption authorities) and the banking sector. 

Reinforcing the cooperation between Financial Intelligence Units through appropriate measures.

At the latest by 2nd quarter 2017

-Work ongoing.

-Scheduled for late June 2017.



Other initiatives to complement the existing legal framework

Harmonizing money laundering criminal offenses and sanctions

Legislative proposal harmonising money laundering criminal offences and sanctions.

At the latest by 4th quarter 2016;

-Commission issued a proposal on 21 December 2016.

-Council reached a general approach on 8 June 2017.

-European Parliament designated rapporteur; report to be issued by September 2017.



Tackling illicit cash movements

The Commission will work with the European Central Bank (ECB), Europol and other relevant parties on the use of high denomination notes, in particular the EUR 500 note, which is a problem reported by law enforcement authorities.

Done

-Done. No further action needed.

-The Governing Council of the ECB took the decision on 04/05/16 to gradually phase out the EUR 500 note.

Legislative proposal against illicit cash movements.

At the latest by 4th quarter 2016

-Commission proposal issued on 21.12.2016.

-In Council (Customs Union Group): second reading is on-going based on a Presidency compromise text.

-In the European Parliament, assignment to the competent committee expected mid-June.



Explore the relevance of potential upper limits to cash payments.

State of play presented at the ECOFIN of June 2016

-An open public consultation was carried out between 1 March and 31 May.

-Results are currently being analysed.



Completing the EU framework to track and freeze terrorist assets

An EU regime for the freezing of assets of terrorists under Article 75 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.

Conclude an assessment at the latest by 4th quarter 2016;

-Commission appraisal issued in the 3rd progress report towards an effective and genuine Security Union (COM(2016)831 of 21.12.2016): no further action to be taken at this time.

Strengthening the mutual recognition of criminal assets' freezing and confiscation orders.

At the latest by 4th quarter 2016

-Commission proposal issued on 21 December 2016.

-Negotiations ongoing in Council in view of a general approach.

-The European Parliament designated rapporteur.



A possible European system which would complement the existing EU-US Terrorist Finance Tracking Program agreement by tracing transactions excluded under the mentioned agreement.

Conclude an assessment at the latest by 4th quarter 2016

-Appraisal issued in the 3rd progress report towards an effective and genuine Security Union (COM(2016) 831 of 21.12.2016).

-Work on-going.

Targeting the sources of funding

Legislative proposal reinforcing customs' powers and cooperation and addressing terrorism financing related to trade in goods.

Advanced to 1st quarter 2017 (COM(2016) 230 final)

-Work on-going.



Legislative proposal against illicit trade in cultural goods.

At the latest by 2nd quarter 2017

-Preparation on-going.

-Envisaged adoption for summer 2017.

EU Action Plan on Illegal Wildlife Trafficking.

At the latest by 1st quarter 2016

-Action Plan adopted on 26/02/2016.

-Council Conclusions adopted on 20/06/2016.

-Implementation work ongoing.

Selected aspects linked to the external dimension



Strengthen support to third countries in complying with UNSCRs legal requirements and Financial Action Task Force recommendations.

Ongoing

-Work ongoing.



Support countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and South East Asia regions to monitor, disrupt and deny the financing of terrorism.

At the latest by 4th quarter 2016

-Work ongoing.

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