Parliament is working on a range of measures to crack down on terrorism. MEPs are due to vote on plans to make the preparation of terror attacks a criminal offence throughout the EU as well to impose checks on European citizens entering and leaving the EU. Some 5,000 Europeans already travelled to conflict zones to join terrorist groups and returning fighters pose a security risk. Watch our video to find out more about Parliament’s efforts to help Europe fight terrorism.
The video features Gilles De Kerchove, the EU's counter-terrorism coordinator, as well German EPP member Monika Hohlmeier, who is in charge of steering the anti-terrorism directive through Parliament, discussing the best ways to tackle the terrorism threat.
Parliament is working on a project to improve de-radicalisation. Hohlmeier called it “a very important point in the agenda of preventing terrorism”. Last November MEPs already adopted a resolution on preventing radicalisation online and in prisons through education and social inclusion
Measures to fight terrorists' propaganda online are also needed, according to De Kerchove. Islamic State alone is believed to send out 100,000 tweets every day. Europol has been given additional powers, enabling to check and report on content on social media if necessary.
Some terrorist acts, such as commissioning attacks, are already a criminal offence under EU legislation, but new rules propose to add to this by making preparations a crime throughout the EU. This could include giving or receiving training in and outside Europe, financing terrorist activities or travelling abroad in order to participate in terrorist activities. Parliament's civil liberties committee votes on these plans on Monday 4 July.
A new proposal also deals with the issue of Europeans travelling back from conflict zones in order to commit terrorist attacks in the EU. Under the plan all EU nationals would have their details checked against databases of lost and stolen documents at external air, sea and land borders. The civil liberties committee supported the proposal on 21 June and MEPs will now negotiate with the Council to come to an agreement.
MEPs are also working on a proposal concerning gun controls to make it more difficult for terrorists to gain access to arms.