The urgent need to step up information-sharing among EU member states and between them and Europol to fight terrorism, the work on the Passenger Name Records data (EU PNR) proposal and the de-radicalisation of EU citizens joining terrorist organisations were among the topics discussed by MEPs with Europol chief Rob Wainwright and Council and Commission representatives on Thursday.
Before the debate, the civil liberties committee observed a minute's silence for the victims of the Paris attacks.
MEPs agreed that information-sharing between member states and their intelligence services in Europe must be improved to prevent terrorist attacks. Europol Director Rob Wainwright voiced his concern at the escalation of terror, saying: "The Paris attacks were the most serious in Europe in more than 10 years." He warned that new terrorist attacks were "likely" to happen on European soil.
While some MEPs called for the swift adoption of the EU Passenger Name Records proposal on the collection of air passengers' data in order to fight terrorism and serious transnational crime, others stressed that EU PNR was not a silver bullet and that more focus must be placed on EU-wide de-radicalisation actions, controlling access to firearms and using joint investigation teams.
The speakers also stressed that the EU and member states must take great care not to call Schengen into question, but must at the same time ensure our safety through better border guards at the external borders. Many called for proportionality in the response to the terror attacks, recalling that citizens' civil liberties and fundamental rights had also been attacked.
The videos of the contributions to the debate are available via the link to the right.
In the chair: Kinga Gál (EPP, HU)