"We need a counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation roadmap", says Civil Liberties Committee Chair
At the start of today's Civil Liberties Committee meeting, the Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) said:
In the last Civil Liberties Committee meeting, I already said a few words about the recent attacks in Paris. The immediate attention was of course on catching the terrorists, giving condolences to the victims' families and supporting the freedom of speech. However, in the days that followed, the debate has been broadened towards our actions to fight terrorism and radicalisation.
In an emergency meeting of Home Affairs Ministers in Paris on 11 January, a series of issues were raised, among which, preserving and defending the rule of law and the foundations of democracy; implementing UN resolutions 1377 and 2178; fighting radicalisation, in particular on Internet; reducing the supply of illegal firearms throughout Europe; better sharing of intelligence information; detecting and screening travel movements by European nationals crossing the EU's external borders, including with a possible amendment to the Schengen Borders Code; adopting a constructive approach with the EP on EU PNR, including intra-EU PNR; ensuring consistency between internal and external actions, including within the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF); fostering cooperation with the United States and Canada; addressing these matters in the informal Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council in Riga, on 29 January.
Obviously all these points are of key interest to our committee and we are directly involved in related legislative work.
In the recent days, we have heard several EU leaders asking for additional measures to be taken or new legislation to be adopted. However, we should take great care not to rush too quickly into setting up new instruments or adopting new legislation. We need a "counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation roadmap" to analyse the problems and gaps and to come up with a comprehensive package of measures at all levels (local, national, EU and international), aiming at all the factors involved (prevention, protection, detection, repression).
As you know, both the Council and the Commission are working towards this roadmap, with a meeting of the European Council scheduled on 12 February.
Let me set out for you now quickly how our roadmap in the Civil Liberties Committee – in terms of upcoming meetings and activities – would look like in this field:
- Last Monday 19 January: Foreign Affairs Council discussed the external dimension of the fight against terrorism;
- The Council Group on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI) met yesterday 20 January;
- Today: Ministers Kozlovskis and Rasnačs (Latvian Presidency) as well as Commissioners Jourová and Timmermans will speak before the Civil Liberties Committee;
- The College of Commissioners will be meeting this morning and discuss anti-terrorism measures;
- Next 27 January: I have invited Commissioner Avramopoulos, the EU Anti-Terrorism Coordinator and representatives of the Raising Awareness Network (RAN) to brief the committee on deradicalisation;
- 28 January: Plenary discussion on counter-terrorism;
- 29 January: Informal JHA Council in Riga will discuss anti-terrorism (which I will attend, as well as two rapporteurs from the committee);
- early February: the French Interior Minister Cazeneuve may meet the Civil Liberties Committee Coordinators;
- February: Eurojust may present in the Civil Liberties Committee a report on criminal justice response on counter-terrorism/foreign fighters;
- 12 February: European Council devoted to counter-terrorism (President Schulz to attend);
- 18 February: International Summit on countering violent extremism hosted by President Obama;
- February-May: Civil Liberties Committee to draft a strategic own-initiative report on radicalisation and foreign fighters and another one on prisons;
- March: Civil Liberties Committee to hold a hearing on the fight against terrorism;
- 12-13 March: JHA Council;
- June: joint hearing by the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) and the Security and Defence Subcommittee (SEDE) on Solidarity Clause (Art 222 TFEU, which includes obligations on the Union to prevent terrorist threat and on the European Council to regularly assess threats facing the Union).
As to PNR: on 4 February the rapporteur and the shadows will hold a meeting with national experts on the issue. After that the rapporteur will come back with a possible timeline.
This is our first roadmap.