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Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism

Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism

 

SUMMARY OF:

Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism

Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism

Decision (EU) 2018/889 concluding the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism on behalf of the EU

Decision (EU) 2018/890 concluding the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism on behalf of the EU

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE CONVENTION, THE PROTOCOL AND THE DECISIONS?

The convention aims to support and strengthen the fight against terrorism, both by measures to be taken at national level and through international cooperation, while reaffirming that all measures have to respect:

The protocol supplements the convention with a series of articles aimed notably at addressing the problem of foreign terrorist fighters.

The decisions conclude the convention and the protocol on behalf of the EU.

KEY POINTS

The convention and its protocol reinforce cooperation on prevention of terrorism in two ways:

At national level

The convention improves national counter-terrorism policies and strategies by defining as criminal offences related to terrorism the following acts that may lead to the commissioning of terrorist offences, when committed intentionally:

  • public provocation to commit a terrorist offence;
  • recruitment for terrorism;
  • training for terrorism;
  • participating as an accomplice in an offence, inciting others to commit an offence or attempting an offence.

The protocol further includes in the definition of criminal offences related to terrorism the following:

  • participation in an association or group for the purpose of terrorism;
  • receiving terrorist training;
  • travelling or attempting to travel abroad for terrorist purposes;
  • financing, organising or otherwise facilitating travel abroad for terrorist purposes.

The convention contains other articles related to the criminalisation of the above offences, namely:

  • establishing the liability of legal entities, the conditions for sanctions and penalties, an obligation to investigate and to prosecute and rules of jurisdiction;
  • safeguarding the respect of human rights obligations, in particular the right to freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of religion, as well as of the principle of proportionality; and
  • giving protection, compensation and support to victims of terrorism.

Internationally

The convention establishes an obligation to assist and extradite between countries, and promotes spontaneous information in relation to terrorist offences.

A political exception clause means that the requested country may not refuse to extradite or to offer mutual assistance on the grounds that the offence is political, connected to a political offence or inspired by political motives in the requesting country, unless the requested country has reserved the right not to apply this clause in a declaration — a possibility for which the convention sets strict limits.

A discrimination clause means that the requested country may refuse to extradite or offer mutual assistance, if it has reason to believe that:

  • the intention to prosecute or punish a person for a terrorist offence is in reality discrimination based on race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin or political opinion; or
  • that the person concerned is at a risk of violation of his or her fundamental rights in the requesting country.

The protocol provides for a 24-7 network of national contact points facilitating the rapid sharing of information. Decision (EU) 2018/890 designates Europol as this contact point for the EU, under the conditions stipulated in Regulation (EU) 2016/794 on Europol, on relations with partners and the transfer and exchange of personal data.

Territorial application

The convention and its protocol are binding upon and apply in all EU countries with the exception of Denmark, and of the UK (1) (unless it makes use of its option to take part).

FROM WHEN DOES THE CONVENTION APPLY?

Both the convention and the protocol apply in the EU from 1 October 2018.

BACKGROUND

In the European Agenda on Security, the European Commission announced it would review and update the Framework Decision on terrorism, taking into account the protocol.

With the adoption of Directive (EU) 2017/541 (Fight against terrorism — definitions of terrorist crimes and support to victims), the EU was ready to honour its commitment to conclude the protocol. This also required it to conclude the convention, at the latest simultaneously.

For further information:

MAIN DOCUMENTS

Council Decision (EU) 2018/889 of 4 June 2018 on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (OJ L 159, 22.6.2018, pp. 1-2)

Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (OJ L 159, 22.6.2018, pp. 3-14)

Council Decision (EU) 2018/890 of 4 June 2018 on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (OJ L 159, 22.6.2018, pp. 15-16)

Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (OJ L 159, 22.6.2018, pp. 17-20)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Directive (EU) 2017/541 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 on combating terrorism and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA and amending Council Decision 2005/671/JHA (OJ L 88, 31.3.2017, pp. 6-21)

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, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions — The European Agenda on Security (COM(2015) 185 final, 28.4.2015)

last update 20.12.2018



(1) The United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union and becomes a third country (non-EU country) as of 1 February 2020.

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