The European Union’s Struggle Against Terrorism

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Fighting terrorism is the highest priority for the European Union. 28 Member States work closely to contain terrorist attacks and ensure the security of citizens.

The organisation has several institutions. It is most influential in developing terrorism and counter-terrorism-related laws and policies. It includes the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission. 

The EU is very engaged in counter-terrorism-related issues since terrorism continues to pose considerable threats across Europe. In 2016 alone, there were 142 failed, thwarted or conducted terrorist attacks. It resulted in 1002 people being apprehended for terrorist crimes within the geographical area of the EU.

The organisation’s counter-terrorism moves are prepared around the EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy 2005. The European Council adopted it. It reserves the Union to fight terrorism globally while respecting human rights and permitting its people to live in an area of freedom, security and justice. 

It is created around four strands. The first stand is to “Contain people from turning to terrorism and prevent future generations of terrorists from emerging.”The second stand states, “PROTECT citizens and critical infrastructure by reducing vulnerabilities against attacks.”The third one is “PURSUE and examine terrorists, contain planning, travel and communications, stop access to financing and materials and bring terrorists to justice.”The last one forms “React collaboratively by preparing for the managing and minimisation of the consequences of a terrorist attack, enhancing capacities to negotiate with the aftermath and taking into account the requirements of victims.”

The policy is subjected to routine assessment. For example, in 2008, the Council assumed an EU strategy for preventing radicalisation and recruitment to terrorism as an element of the ‘prevent’ pillar. This was modified in 2014 to the challenge of foreign fighters transiting to Syria and Iraq. It poses a substantial security threat to the EU and its Member States. It resulted in adopting of the EU Strategy for Fighting Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism of 2014. 

This Counter-Terrorism Strategy is extended by further mechanisms, for example the Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA. It delivers a standard definition of terrorist and terrorist-linked offences to facilitate international cooperation, especially between EU Member States, without a universally agreed definition.

In addition to effective but technically non-binding mechanisms such as the Counter-Terrorism Strategy, Member States have several binding obligations. Its relation to the approved legal framework mechanism of the EU. Until March 2017, this was enunciated in the Council Framework Decision of fighting terrorism. It directed the Member States to take several actions, such as providing that “definitions of terrorism – embedding key approved criteria – existed within their domestic law.” 

Specific activities associated with terrorism were outlawed, and legislative action was required. On 7 March 2017, the Council assumed a declaration on combating terrorism. The new rules, which superseded the 2002 Framework, bolster the legal framework of the EU to contain terrorist attacks and handle the phenomenon of foreign terrorist combatants. The new rules, in the shape of a Directive, maintain and broaden the scope of the existing legislation. For example, it outlaws travel within, outside or to the EU for terrorist objectives, such as to join the actions of a terrorist group or to execute a terrorist attack. 

Another critical activity was the action against money laundering and terrorist funding. In 2015, the EU Parliament and the European Council set standard rules for preventing the use of the financial system. It was related to money laundering or terrorist funding. Further, as part of its reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the organisation launched a list of persons, groups and organisations involved in terrorist actions and subject to restrictive criteria. 

Other vital outcomes have contained policies moulded by the European Commission in all sectors. These are related to the containing of terrorist attacks and the management of their consequences. It includes limiting access to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear materials. For example, a Biological, Chemical, Radiological and Nuclear Action Plan has been developed. It concentrates on combating unauthorised access. Further, I noticed such dangerous materials and prepared and reacted efficiently to incidents.

Since the terrorist attack on Madrid in March 2004, an “EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator” has been created. His central roles were making policy recommendations and offering priority areas for action to the Council. Further, it encourages international collaboration between the European Union and third countries.

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