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ECR

We must help Member States in their counter terrorism efforts

18 October 2017

We must help Member States in their counter terrorism efforts

New moves by the European Commission can help countries’ counter terrorism teams cooperate more effectively and assist them in better securing softer targets, said ECR security coordinator Helga Stevens MEP.

New moves by the European Commission can help countries’ counter terrorism teams cooperate more effectively and assist them in better securing softer targets, said ECR security coordinator Helga Stevens MEP.

Today the European Commission announced a series of measures to help Member States cooperate and exchange information and best practices more effectively. Included within the proposals were an Action Plan on ‘soft targets’, such as tourist attractions, bridges and promenades, with the aim of assisting authorities in Member States to work together in their efforts to identify possible targets. In addition the Commission also announced a recommendation that focusses on the misuse of substances that are being increasingly used to devastating effect in improvised explosive devices.

Speaking after the announcement, Stevens said:

“National crime agencies must have the means and infrastructure to communicate and cooperate more effectively with one another. The EU can add value by complementing, and not duplicating, the work of Member States and by helping them to share expertise and ensure focus is on making the tools we already have work more effectively.

“In the last 18 months we have tragically seen how ‘soft targets’ have been used to terrorists’ gain and we must work to make such spaces less vulnerable. The EU can have a role in helping countries to work together to identify possible targets and raise awareness through exchanging experiences and best practices.

“Terrorists are increasingly using improvised explosives. We must continue our prevention efforts by paying even more attention to materials that can be misused to cause devastation.

The Commission also requested a new mandate for a revised EU-Canada PNR agreement following the recent opinion by the European Court of Justice on the existing agreement’s compatibility with the EU’s charter of fundamental rights. Stevens continued:

“The new mandate for an agreement on EU-Canada Passenger Name Records is welcome. We will continue to support efforts to exchange passenger data with our international partners. These agreements are vital for the protection of our citizens as they use air transport to visit friends and relatives, to conduct business or go on holiday.”

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