What happened last night in Strasbourg, in one of the busiest Christmas Markets in Europe, makes it more urgent for us, as policy-makers, to act, and to act fast. Today’s Report voted on by the European Parliament is just one step to defend people’s security. We now expect the European Commission and Member States to act swiftly to make sure that terrorists are blocked from carrying out their intentions, whilst at the same time, people feel safe everywhere on our continent.
Monika Hohlmeier MEP, Co-Rapporteur of the Report, said: “Today, the European Parliament will lay down the foundations for a strong approach by the European Union. But we need these foundations to be translated into building blocks which will transform the way we tackle terrorism. We are putting forward a number of concrete recommendations and proposals with the aim of making Europe more secure and safe, both for Europeans and non-Europeans visiting our continent. These proposals range from having information exchanged by national authorities, a process which should be coordinated by Europol; ensuring that terrorists will have their money blocked; countering radicalisation and extremists; as well as providing the necessary protection to victims and their families.”
The EPP Group is also pushing to have a standing parliamentary committee responsible for matters relating to internal security and terrorism, and dealing with particularly sensitive information. This recommendation is based on the success of the Terrorism Committee over the past year which has shown that stakeholders, police and security services are ready to cooperate with a specialised structure within the Parliament which would guarantee that classified information stays in safe hands.
Arnaud Danjean MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokesman in the Terrorism Committee, said: “The European Parliament needs to demonstrate its credibility on the sensitive issue of terrorism. The text we voted today represents an excellent basis: it answers the citizens' concerns as it proposes concrete measures to support counter-terrorism professionals and takes victims' needs into consideration. Many of the initiatives mentioned and provided in this Report are already on track, on the Member States’ side as well as on the European Commission’s side. This is particularly the case for the most important and most operational reform: interoperability between information systems. The last three decades have shown that jihadist terrorism comes from a real ideology and determined and organised groups who have never given up on fighting our model of society. We need to remain extremely vigilant and the recommendations of this Report m ust be quickly implemented."