Tackling terrorism: people expect EU to act

Terrorism continues to pose a threat to Europe and people expect the EU to act: 82% of Europeans want it to do more, while 69% consider its current measures to be insufficient, according to a Eurobarometer poll commissioned by Parliament. The survey also showed that the majority of people think the fight against terrorism should be the EU’s main priority for more action.

Respondents considered the following measures to be the most urgent: fight against the financing of terrorist groups (42%), fight against the roots of terrorism and radicalisation (41%) and strengthening border controls (39%).

MEPs adopted last November a resolution on preventing radicalisation online and in prisons through education and social inclusion. In May MEPs approved additional powers for Europol, the EU’s law enforcement agency. For example, the agency will now be able to ask Facebook to remove pages run by Islamic State.

Parliament is currently working on a new directive aimed at criminalising preparatory acts for terrorist purposes such as travelling abroad, providing or receiving training, and on a regulation to systematically check all EU citizens entering or leaving the EU.

Civil liberties committee chair Claude Moraes, a UK member of the S&D group, said: “We must be united in our efforts to tackle the root causes of terrorism and to continue to take measures to protect European citizens from future attacks, while ensuring that there is a balance between the safety of European citizens and their privacy and fundamental rights. The civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee will ensure that the Parliament does its job effectively.”

Photo: Minute of silence for the victims of the Paris attacks around Europe [Nov. 2015]