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Fight against terrorism

The European Union’s (EU) efforts to combat terrorism fall under police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, i.e. Title V of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Article 83 of the treaty refers specifically to terrorism as a serious crime.

The EU has various legal instruments in place to fight terrorism. For example, Directive (EU) 2017/541 on combating terrorism, which, among other things, sets the minimum rules on which acts should be qualified as terrorist offences. Another example is Regulation (EU) 2019/1148, which puts rules in place to prevent the misuse of chemicals that could be used to build homemade bombs.

In July 2020, the EU presented its security union strategy. This sets out the tools and measures to be developed over the next 5 years to ensure security in our physical and digital environments. Protecting people in the EU from terrorism and organised crime is one of its strategic priorities.

Terrorism and radicalisation leading to violent extremism continue to evolve as major threats to the security of Europeans and their way of life. Coordinated EU action is indispensable to ensure effective action to protect people in the EU. The EU and its Member States need to work together to fight and prevent terrorism, both online and offline. In December 2020, the European Commission therefore adopted a counterterrorism agenda for the EU, paving the way for the fight against terrorism in the years to come. The aim of the agenda is to better anticipate threats, to step up prevention efforts, to help protect people, public spaces and infrastructures and to respond effectively when terrorist attacks occur.