Parliament adopts new plan to help Member States deal with terror threat

The European Parliament’s has today adopted a final report from the Special Committee on Terrorism that includes a series of recommendations aimed at better supporting Member States in the fight against terrorism. ECR Flemish MEP Helga Stevens co-authored the Parliament’s report that was drafted following extensive research and contacts with police and intelligence services across Europe.

Speaking after the vote, Stevens said: “The terrorist attacks in the centre of Strasbourg, yesterday evening, highlight the imminent threat and absolute urgency of dealing better with this sad new reality. Today our report has been put to the vote in the same city, the seat of the European Parliament.

“Many innovative ideas have been proposed, such as the EU black list for hate preachers, allowing people renting cars to be cross-checked against police databases, and including private planes under the PNR Directive.

Within the adopted text, the committee presented its vision of a more coordinated security policy that covers a range of policy areas as well as looking at what could be done at EU level to help tackle the terror threat. Among their proposals, they recommended:

  • Creating an EU watch list of radical preachers;
  • Stronger monitoring to ensure harmonised security and judicial prosecution of identified ‘returning fighters’ to Europe;
  • precluding convicted terrorist offenders from being granted asylum;
  • Anti-radicalisation measures, such as programmes for prisons, education and campaigns;
  • Strengthening EU’s external borders and proper checks at all border crossings using all relevant databases;
  • call for continuity of EU-UK cooperation and information exchange;
  • Restricting knife-carrying and banning particularly harmful knives;
  • Inclusion of private planes under the PNR Directive;
  • European system of licences for specialised buyers of explosive precursors;
  • Urgent need for a common definition of ‘victim of terrorism’ at EU level;
  • Commission asked to create an EU Coordination Centre of victims of terrorism (CCVT) to provide crisis support and assistance in cases of attacks;
  • use the European Solidarity Fund to compensate victims of large-scale terror attacks;

Stevens continued:

“We are recommending also best practices, such as the local anti-radicalisation cells introduced in Belgium. And we put the victims at the forefront, by asking for medical costs to be automatically pre-paid after an attack and smoother insurance procedures. These are just a few examples from the comprehensive and poignant report.”

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