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Procedure : 2006/2032(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0441/2006

Texts tabled :

A6-0441/2006

Debates :

PV 14/02/2007 - 9
CRE 14/02/2007 - 9

Votes :

PV 15/02/2007 - 6.9
CRE 15/02/2007 - 6.9
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2007)0050

Texts adopted
PDF 147kDOC 80k
Thursday, 15 February 2007 - Strasbourg Final edition
External dimension of the fight against international terrorism
P6_TA(2007)0050A6-0441/2006

European Parliament resolution on the external dimension of the fight against international terrorism (2006/2032(INI))

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe,

–   having regard to Articles 6 and 7 and Title V of the EU Treaty,

–   having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,

–   having regard to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, signed in Rome on 4 November 1950,

–   having regard to the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism of the Council of Europe, signed in Strasbourg on 27 January 1977,

–   having regard to the thirteen United Nations instruments currently in force and to the four instruments adopted in 2005 but not yet in force relating to the prevention and eradication of international terrorism, to Security Council Resolutions 1368 and 1373 (2001) and 1267 (1999) and to General Assembly Resolution A/RES/60/288 of 8 September 2006 on the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the Plan of Action annexed thereto,

   having regard to UN Security Council Resolution 1267(1999), implemented at EU level by Council Regulation (EC) No 881/2002 of 27 May 2002, imposing certain specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities associated with Usama bin Laden, the Al-Qaida network and the Taleban(1) ,

–   having regard to the 2005 UN World Summit Outcome on terrorism (General Assembly Resolution A/RES/60/1),

–   having regard to the report of the High-Level Group entitled "Alliance of Civilisations", presented to the UN Secretary-General on 13 November 2006,

   having regard to the mutual defence clause contained in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, invoked by the NATO members on 12 September 2001, thereby defining the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre of 11 September 2001 as an outside attack against the United States,

–   having regard to the European Security Strategy (ESS) – "A Secure Europe in a Better World" – approved by the European Council on 12 December 2003, and the EU Strategy Against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction of the same date,

–   having regard to the report entitled "A Human Security Doctrine for Europe – The Barcelona Report of the Study Group on Europe's Security Capabilities", presented to the EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) on 15 September 2004,

–   having regard to the conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 25 and 26 March 2004, in particular the European Council Declaration on Combating Terrorism of 25 March 2004, which included a solidarity clause,

–   having regard to the Plan of Action against Terrorism, approved by the European Council on 21 September 2001, and the Council's revised Action Plan/Roadmap of 15 June 2004, endorsed by the European Council at its meeting on 17 and 18 June 2004,

–   having regard to the European Union Counter-Terrorism Strategy, adopted by the European Council at its meeting of 14 and 15 December 2005, and the European Union Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism, adopted by the European Council on the same date,

–   having regard to the conclusions of the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security held in Madrid from 8 to 11 March 2005,

–   having regard to the report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations of 27 April 2006 entitled "Uniting Against terrorism: recommendations for a global counter-terrorism strategy" (A/60/825),

–   having regard to the report of the United Nations High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on Threats, Challenges and Change , "A more secure world: our shared responsibility", of 2 December 2004, and the report of the UN Secretary-General of 21 March 2005, prepared for the 2005 reform summit and entitled "In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all",

–   having regard to the Euro-Mediterranean Code of Conduct on Countering Terrorism, adopted at the Euro-Mediterranean Summit of 27 and 28 November 2005 in Barcelona,

–   having regard to the EU-US declarations of 26 June 2004 on Combating Terrorism, of 20 June 2005 on Enhancing Cooperation in the Field of Non Proliferation and the Fight Against Terrorism and of 21 June 2006 issued at the Vienna Summit, and noting with great concern the CIA's secret detention programme the existence of which was confirmed by President Bush on 6 September 2006,

–   having regard to the European Union-Russia Road Map for the Common Space of External Security signed on 10 May 2005 on the occasion of the 15th EU-Russia Summit,

–   having regard to the recently discovered existence of highly dangerous terrorist organisations in Italy and France,

–   having regard to the Joint EU-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Declaration on Terrorism signed on 27 January 2003 on the occasion of the 14th EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting,

–   having regard to the Joint EU-OAU (Organization of African Unity) Declaration on Terrorism, signed on 11 October 2001,

–   having regard to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) adopted on 17 July 1998 by the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee of 29 November 2005 entitled "The Prevention of and Fight against Terrorist Financing through enhanced national level coordination and greater transparency of the non-profit sector", including a Recommendation to the Member States (COM(2005)0620) and the Commission's memorandum of 1 December 2005 entitled "Financing of terrorism: new guidelines for Member States on national level coordination structures and vulnerabilities of the non-profit sector" (MEMO/05/460),

–   having regard to its Recommendation of 7 June 2005 to the European Council and the Council on the EU anti-terrorism Action Plan(2) ,

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Development and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A6-0441/2006),

A.   whereas international terrorism (including its ideology) now constitutes one of the greatest threats to security, peace, stability and the democratic values of the international community and in particular a direct threat to European citizens, EU Member States, democracy and the rule of law, values on which the European Union is founded,

B.   conscious of the diverse nature of terrorism, of the organisations which practise it and of the States and non-state agents which sponsor it, finance it and practise it for their own ends; conscious also of the emerging and unpredictable nature of a phenomenon which presupposes an obvious sense of opportunity (particularly in the case of the terrorism practised by radical groups which claim to be defending Islam) and the need for the European Union to pursue a proactive (and not just a reactive) policy in order to combat it,

C.   whereas Europe, from being mainly a platform for logistical support, has turned into a major target of planned attacks,

D.   whereas, pursuant to the ESS, the fight against terrorism constitutes a priority for the European Union and a key element in its external action,

E.   whereas the pursuit of security beyond the EU's borders should be guided by the principles of the human security doctrine, namely the primacy of human rights, the imperatives of multilateralism, a bottom-up approach based on knowledge of the local situation, a regional focus and the establishment of a clear and legitimate political authority,

F.   whereas the European Union has its own strategy for combating terrorism which must be integrated in a multilateral strategy and be firmly based on the unconditional respect of human rights and of the principles underlying states governed by the rule of law, whereas terrorism constitutes precisely a direct attack on both, and whereas any action outside that framework constitutes a failure of democracy,

G.   whereas terrorism is always criminal and unjustifiable, in any circumstance, wherever and by whomsoever it is practised, and whereas it may never be used in the pursuit of political objectives,

H.   whereas the victims of terrorism are a moral reference point for our societies and for democracy and whereas the public authorities should listen to their voice and ensure that they are taken into account whenever decisions are taken with a view to combating those who made them unwilling protagonists,

I.   whereas terrorist groups exploit extreme poverty, the failure to uphold human rights and constitutional government, collective frustration, the lack of access to training and social exclusion in pursuit of their capture and infiltration strategies,

J.   whereas societies which suffer from high levels of political, social, economic, ethnic, religious and other discrimination and from a lack of democracy and human rights constitute an ideal breeding ground for terrorism,

K.   whereas, in order for terrorism to be fought effectively, a detailed knowledge is required of the terrorist group which is being fought, of that group's ideology and of the social, political, economic and religious context from which it emerges and on which its perpetrators and supporters feed,

L.   whereas specific action should be taken in order to combat each terrorist organisation, in view of the fact that each one has its own objectives, organisation and modus operandi, and whereas, in particular, specific action should be taken against the Al-Qaeda organisation,

M.   whereas the threat of terrorism is not restricted to specific geographic zones and whereas terrorist organisations are to be found both within and outside the Union's borders and have provided ample proof of their ability to carry out attacks and acts of violence in any continent and against various countries simultaneously,

N.   whereas the Member States individually and the European Union and its institutions have already been or may be direct targets of international terrorism,

O.   whereas the painful experiences to date show that no Member State can on its own successfully face terrorism and whereas it is therefore of fundamental importance that there be, first, a common Union policy to combat terrorism, making use of all the instruments and resources at the disposal of states governed by the rule of law and of the Union itself, and, second, effective and democratically controlled international cooperation in the fight against international terrorism,

P.   whereas essential requirements in an effective fight against terrorism are an enhancement of transatlantic cooperation and coordination and full implementation of the above-mentioned EU-US declarations on Combating Terrorism and on Enhancing Cooperation in the field of Non-Proliferation and the Fight Against Terrorism, and the EU-US declaration issued at the Vienna Summit,

Q.   whereas the fight against international terrorism calls for a strong linkage between internal and external aspects of security and whereas the EU must aim for a holistic, coherent and cross-pillar approach to this challenge,

R.   aware that the global dimension of terrorism also requires a global response, tackling terrorism in all its dimensions, including the security, political, economic social and cultural aspects,

S.   whereas the European Union is founded on a set of values, as expressed, for instance, in the Copenhagen criteria, and whereas those values should be promoted all over the world as the only way to prevent terrorism in the long term,

T.   aware that the external and internal dimensions of the fight against terrorism are interlinked and inseparable,

U.   whereas prevention, and hence the need for exhaustive consideration of intelligence reports, are basic elements in the fight against terrorism, as evidenced by some of the attacks which have recurred,

V.   whereas in order for the actions of the Union in the fight against terrorism to be effective, close cooperation and an enhanced exchange of information between the institutions of the Union, the Member States and their respective intelligence services, and the Union's specialised agencies (such as Europol and Eurojust) are vital,

W.   whereas the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator has an essential role to play and whereas he must be given more powers and resources,

X.   whereas the Union must develop a proactive, rather than merely reactive, prevention, protection and suppression policy to combat international terrorism effectively,

Y.   whereas, in order to be effective, the fight against international terrorism and its ideology must be backed by real conviction and determination within the Union and the Member States and have the backing of an aware and well-informed public,

Z.   whereas the Member States must not delay implementation of all commitments associated with the fight against terrorism, based on counter-terrorism cooperation both within the Union and at the international level,

AA.   convinced that demonising any culture, civilisation or religion in the name of combating terrorism is a mistake which may have counter-productive effects,

AB.   whereas Muslims are themselves among the victims of Islamist terrorism, which is linked in turn to inherent conflicts within the Muslim world and to struggles for power and natural resources, including oil,

Fundamental principles of the external dimension of the fight against international terrorism

1.  Supports the need for a strategic objective of combating terrorism globally, respecting human rights, with the ultimate aim of achieving a more secure European Union, and allowing its citizens to enjoy a true area of freedom, security and justice; shares the view of the Council that, other forms of terrorism notwithstanding, the most serious threat to Europe at the moment is posed by violent radical groups claiming to defend Islam, such as the criminal Al-Qaeda network and the groups which are affiliated to it or are inspired by its ideology;

2.  Emphasises the need for the European Union, its Member States and its partner countries to base their global counter-terrorism strategy on the fundamental principles which also serve to guide the actions of the United Nations, on a constructive and serious dialogue between peoples and nations, as well as between cultures, religions and civilisations, taking account of the respective perceptions and concerns, and on respect for international law;

3.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that certain groups of people from various diasporas living in Europe are not stigmatised, in particular by supporting policies to combat xenophobia and human rights violations against immigrant and refugee communities, as well as development aid projects undertaken by migrants or migrants" associations;

4.  Expresses its regret at the failure of the UN World Summit in 2005 to reach an agreement on a comprehensive definition of terrorism, and stresses the need to arrive at a generally accepted definition of international terrorism; therefore calls on the Council to adopt a common position establishing a definition of terrorism on the basis of Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA of 13 June 2002 on combating terrorism(3) and taking into account the definition proposed by the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan(4) ;

5.  Stresses the urgent need fully and properly to implement all the political measures adopted at the highest political level in the European Union Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the Action Plan and the Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism, so that the ambitious mechanisms and proposals set out in those documents result as soon as possible in specific and effective practical measures to combat terrorism;

6.  Welcomes the adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and its annexed Plan of Action on 8 September 2006; stresses the need for terrorism in all its forms and manifestations to be combated by all available means, pursuant to the UN Charter as reflected in the Security Council's Resolution 1624 (2005); expresses concern at the delay in the adoption of the global convention on international terrorism; encourages the Institutions of the European Union and the various Member States to continue working unstintingly to achieve an international consensus permitting, on the one hand, the adoption of the global convention and, on the other, the effective implementation of the measures set out in the said Strategy and Plan of Action;

7.  Regrets the fact that, despite evidence of the terrorist threat, some Member States have not yet signed and/or ratified some of the 17 United Nations universal instruments on combating terrorism; notes that as yet only two countries have ratified 13 conventions and 78 other countries have ratified or acceded to 12 of them; considers it particularly worrying, however, that 33 other countries have ratified or acceded to only 6 or fewer such international conventions;

8.  Calls on those Member States of the European Union and their partners which have not already done so to adopt swiftly the national legislation necessary for the effective implementation of those conventions and to inform the relevant bodies of the United Nations thereof in good time;

9.  Recommends that, in its external actions, the European Union should make use of appropriate means in order to encourage countries to become parties to all universal instruments against terrorism and to enact, as appropriate, the domestic legislation necessary to implement the provisions of those conventions and protocols, also benefiting from the UN's technical expertise;

10.  Emphasises that the European Union's external actions to combat international terrorism should in the first place be aimed at prevention, in order to ensure that radical or extremist groups, and also States, do not resort to terrorism and do not support it as a strategy in the pursuit of their objectives; urges the Member States to acquire greater institutional capacity for combating terrorism; considers that in broad terms the objectives relating to prevention set out in the European Union Counter-Terrorism Strategy are in keeping with that objective;

11.  Calls on the EU to ensure that measures taken with a view to fighting terrorism do not lead to curbs on the ability of the media in countries in the South to deal in an independent way with issues relating to the rights of poor, vulnerable people and to publish information that is essential when it comes to determining the specific aid to be provided to those countries;

12.  Calls on the countries with which the EU has commenced accession negotiations or which have expressed their intention of joining the EU to take immediate measures to disband nationalistic and fanatical organisations which are directly opposed to the democratic principles of the Union and which stir up animosities and racial hatred;

13.  Reiterates the need at all times to drive home the message that terrorism is unacceptable and unjustifiable by all state and non-state actors in all circumstances and in all cultures, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify it, and to eliminate all factors which may be exploited by terrorists, such as the dehumanisation of victims, the outbreak and persistence of violent conflicts, bad governance, the lack of civil rights and violation of human rights, religious and ethnic discrimination, political exclusion and socio-economic marginalisation;

14.  Considers it likewise fundamental that the European Union's external actions to combat international terrorism, while complying with the relevant case law of the Court of Justice of the European Communities and the European Court of Human Rights, should aim to prevent terrorists from gaining access to the means for carrying out their attacks, for example by depriving them of the opportunity to travel, to gain access to means of communication and to proselytise, to use the Internet for their purposes, to receive financial support, to engage in money laundering, to gain access to arms, be they conventional, nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological, and to easily attain their objectives and achieve their aims;

15.  Considers that the protective measures included in the European Union Counter-Terrorism Strategy are in line with this objective but that their actual effectiveness varies greatly and that there are various other options in terms of the Union's external action;

16.  Reiterates the need to fight against flows of illicit capital and money laundering within the Union (through the implementation by December 2007 of Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2005 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing(5) ) and elsewhere, and to exercise effective control over various Islamic charities;

17.  Notes that Member States have an obligation to exercise vigilance and recommends that determined use be made of the instruments at the disposal of the Union in its external actions in order to make countries which support terrorist groups and which organise, finance, encourage or support terrorist activities by any other means desist from doing so, if necessary through the imposition of sanctions or through coercive measures;

18.  Supports unreservedly the development of the capacity of States to prevent terrorism through the promotion of the rule of law, respect for human rights and the establishment of effective criminal justice systems as well as through the promotion of high-quality education and religious and cultural tolerance; to that end, urges all the States within the international community to ensure that incitement to commit terrorist acts is banned by law and to prevent such conduct, as called for in the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy of 8 September 2006;

19.  Considers that the development of a preventative capacity also requires States to directly oppose the financing of terrorist organisations by practical means, to seek to ensure that transport is safe (as stipulated in the European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection (EPCIP) (COM(2004)0702)), to make use of the possibilities offered by the Internet to combat terrorism, to improve the protection of potential terrorist targets and the capacity to respond to attacks, and to improve their capacity to prevent terrorists from acquiring conventional weapons or nuclear, biologic, chemical or radiological materials;

20.  Emphasises the need to continue defending human rights and fundamental freedoms in the fight against terrorism by means of the international instruments available, taking account of the fact that human rights are a universal value and an integral part of European external action but also of the fact that their violation clearly jeopardises the fight against terrorism and constitutes a failure of democracy; considers, therefore, that the only effective instruments employed in the fight against international terrorism are legal means and that all activities that escape independent international scrutiny, such as extraordinary renditions or prisons that operate outside the international legal framework, should be prohibited under international law;

21.  Considers it fundamental to have sufficient human and budgetary resources available to combat terrorism; supports the various proposals of the Commission in this regard; proposes that, in the event of a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) operation to combat terrorism, the cost of the common expenditure be charged to the budget of the European Union; supports the setting-up of an international fund to provide economic assistance to States with fewer resources in order that they may successfully assume their responsibilities in the fight against terrorism;

22.  Considers that including financial support for a range of activities connected with preventing and fighting terrorism in ODA can only further undermine the concept of official development assistance and its primary aim, namely to eliminate poverty;

23.  Stresses that any EU programme designed to foster cooperation on counter-terrorism, surveillance technology and exchanges of information should include a financial clause setting aside part of the budget for fundamental rights issues as well as for a subsequent independent impact assessment;

24.  Strongly stresses to the Member States that nothing can justify diverting aid away from countries that are devoting themselves to reducing poverty and achieving the MDGs and towards countries directly involved in the war on terror;

25.  Stresses that additional financial resources released via the implementation of innovative financial instruments cannot replace commitments already entered into in terms of ODA, and considers that, when those new resources become available, they should not be used to finance measures to prevent or fight terrorism at the expense of measures for fighting poverty, into which it is essential that the new resources be channelled;

26.  Draws attention to the fact the development of a common approach to the management of the European Union's external frontiers could constitute one element of the fight against terrorism, and consequently is concerned that the technical equipment at the disposal of the authorities responsible for controlling the borders is not of a uniformly high standard;

27.  Underlines the crucial role played by civil society and NGOs in the promotion of cross- cultural and inter-religious understanding through constructive dialogue;

28.  Considers that it is essential to develop intercultural dialogue and other confidence-building measures within and outside the EU, the first requirement being to reach a common understanding of the concept of "intercultural dialogue" inside the EU; also considers it essential to examine the contributory factors leading to the radicalisation and recruitment of Muslims inside and outside Europe;

Means available to the European Union in the area of its external action to combat terrorism

29.  Emphasises the many-faceted nature of the responses available to the European Union in the area of external action to combat terrorism and the need for Member States to bring together and use in a coherent manner their political, preventive and suppressive instruments involving police and judicial cooperation, intelligence and communication, and all other types of responses called for and endorsed by the United Nations and forming part of a multilateral strategy;

30.  Draws attention to the recommendations contained in its resolution of 28 September 2006(6) , and stresses in particular that if, with a view to implementing development cooperation, a large number of objectives are pursued that are only indirectly linked, or not linked at all, to the strategy laid down in the European Consensus on Development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (for which the UN believes additional annual aid of USD 50 billion is needed), it will become significantly more difficult to take effective action against poverty;

31.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to pursue an anti-terrorism policy that is careful not to undermine the contribution made by European development cooperation to drawing up and implementing strategies aimed at effectively combating poverty and at preventing – increasingly prolonged – violent conflicts, particularly in Africa;

32.  Stresses that the response adopted by the EU in the face of terrorism must be proportionate and properly targeted on the fight against terrorism, bearing in mind that, until proved otherwise, the most productive measures in the fight against new forms of terrorism are effective intelligence and police services, in other words activities which, however legitimate, do not come within development cooperation policy or the fight against poverty;

33.  Reiterates, therefore, its proposal to render the Union's anti-terrorist policy more coherent and effective in its relations with third countries through:

   a) the enhancement of political dialogue in this regard, in particular with those countries with which the European Union and/or its Member States have concluded or are negotiating Association or Cooperation Agreements;
   b) political and commercial support and development aid to moderate Islamic countries, relating both to the fight against terrorism and to the political, economic and social reforms implemented in those countries;
   c) a stepping-up of the dialogue on and cooperation in the fight against terrorism with the major partners of the Union (Israel, Japan, Australia, Canada, Russia, etc.) and, in particular, the United States, which is in the front line in the fight against terrorism, without affecting under any circumstances the level of protection afforded to human rights;
   d) the promotion of international consensus for the adoption of the Global Convention on International Terrorism and the development of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy of 8 September 2006, including a common definition of terrorism;
   e) the requirement that all third countries with which the Union maintains relations sign and ratify the 17 United Nations universal instruments on combating terrorism, as well as the optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture or Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;
   f) the strict implementation of the anti-terrorism clause as well as application of the human rights clause included in agreements with third countries, without any "ad hoc" modifications which detract from their substance;
   g) the suspension of political and trade relations with States which persistently fail to comply with their obligations to provide information to the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the United Nations;
   h) the establishment of an interinstitutional Code of Conduct for external relations of the Union as proposed by the European Parliament in its resolution of 25 April 2002 on the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the European Union's role in promoting human rights and democratisation in third countries(7) ;
   i) the strengthening of cooperation with international and regional organisations playing a key role in peacekeeping and global security, first and foremost the United Nations (in particular the Security Council and its Counter-Terrorism Committee and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) the OSCE, the Council of Europe and NATO;
   j) the promotion and strict implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004), with the aim of preventing non-state actors and States which are not party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty from acquiring nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, in pursuit of the EU strategy against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, support for and the development of new initiatives on nuclear disarmament and the revitalisation of the UN Conference on Disarmament;
   k) the stepping-up of cooperation as regards the exchange of information and cooperation between security and intelligence services including military intelligence, and police, judicial and customs authorities of the Member States, including with the Joint Situation Centre (SitCen), the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders (Frontex), Europol, Interpol and Eurojust and the various competent authorities at European level, the Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, Gijs de Vries and the Commissioner with responsibility for justice, freedom and security, Franco Frattini; the enhancing of security protocols and interoperability, by keeping the activities of intelligence and law-enforcement agencies strictly separate as stipulated in numerous national constitutions and on the condition that parliamentary and judicial scrutiny are provided;
   l) the organisation of regular meetings (held at least once a year) to be attended by the relevant ministers from the Member States, by the Commissioner responsible for freedom, security and justice, by the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator and by the heads of Europol, Eurojust, SitCen and Frontex, and to be devoted solely to the topic of combating international terrorism;
   m) the promotion of a global consensus about the need to put an end to off-shore banking and other forms of opaque fiscal paradises used by terrorists to conceal their financial transactions;
   n) the implementation of the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects;
   o) the strengthening of counter-terrorist military forces through training and other measures;
   p) an increase in Europol's powers in order to ensure that the role it plays in the fight against terrorism is an effective one;
   q) the enhancement of cooperation with the United States as regards exchanges of information and cooperation between security and intelligence services as well as police, judicial and customs authorities;
   r) the enhancement of cooperation between Member States' special forces and those of third countries;

34.  Commends the various initiatives to promote dialogue, tolerance and understanding among different cultures, civilisations and religions; regards the idea of creating a "Euro-Med citizenship" as an example of a broad and concrete initiative that can help bring forward views of the region's common future;

35.  Emphasises the need for greater cooperation and coordination with the United States in the fight against international terrorism, while stressing the need to protect the fundamental principles of human rights;

36.  Emphasises the need for an increase in the powers and the resources available to the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator (with particular reference to the inadequate resources made available to him), so that his work can have a greater impact and assume a higher profile;

37.  Calls on the Commission and the Council, in their external relations, to insist on the signature and the ratification of the Rome Statute and, consequently, on the universal recognition by all third countries of the binding nature of the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court;

38.  Calls on the Council, the Commission and the governments of the Member States to take effective practical action to bring about the proscription of terrorist organisations;

39.  Considers it essential to encourage greater stability outside the Union through the use of all available instruments, programmes and means in the ambit of external action, including:

   a) the new Instrument for Stability established by Regulation (EC) No 1717/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2006(8) , which provides a new legal basis for long-term aid in such areas as the fight against terrorism, the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the fight against organised crime, conventional disarmament and human security; recalls the declaration by the Commission on anti-terror measures, annexed to the Instrument for Stability, in which the Commission undertakes that all anti-terrorism measures financed under that instrument will respect human rights obligations and related humanitarian law and that the Commission will monitor compliance with that principle by the recipient countries;
   b) the support, once the said Instrument enters into force, of the aid strategy designed by the Commission to help third countries face the terrorist threat through both the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) established by Regulation (EC) No 1638/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006(9) and the Instrument for Stability, and through the mainstreaming of counter-terrorist assistance into all its assistance programmes as requested by the European Council;
   c) the extension of the said aid strategy to all areas of the Union's external action and to all the major development aid programmes except for those relating to humanitarian aid, which are by their very nature unconditional;
   d) the strengthening of the use of the Civilian and Military Rapid Reaction Mechanism;
   e) the Council and the Commission ensuring that attention for the victims of terrorism becomes a cornerstone of the Union's policy in this field, thus ensuring full regard for them so that they are listened to, kept informed and given every assistance;
   f) the creation of a similar office in the context of the new United Nations Counter-Terrorism Strategy of 8 September 2006, aimed at providing assistance to all victims of terrorism regardless of their citizenship;

40.  Calls on the Commission to present as soon as possible a communication setting out the existing assistance mechanisms and programmes to reduce and face up to the threats to the security of the Union and its citizens, including in particular proposals and recommendations to improve the effectiveness and coherence of the Union's assistance programmes;

41.  Calls on Member States to contribute more to an integrated EU-wide threat assessment by increasing the flow of information to SitCen in the Secretariat of the Council of the EU; calls on Member States to increase staff and resources at the disposal of the Situation Centre and to make increasing use of its combined terrorism assessments, which include information on external threats and information from internal security services and Europol;

42.  Recommends the adoption of measures leading to establishment of a new configuration for meetings of the Council, involving the participation of Foreign Ministers and Interior Ministers when dealing with the fight against terrorism;

43.  Recommends implementation of the provisions of the EU Treaty concerning the ESDP applied to the fight against terrorism and also of the Declaration on Combating Terrorism of 25 March 2004, the Plan of Action adopted by the European Council on 21 September 2001 and the Counter-Terrorism Strategy of 14 and 15 December 2005, through the adoption of measures such as:

   a) the joint elaboration of contingency plans to render effective the mutual-assistance solidarity clause in the Declaration on Combating Terrorism;
   b) recourse, where necessary, to specific police and/or military operations under the ESDP as part of the Union's response to terrorism;
   c) the adaptation to the new tasks of the permanent structured cooperation and the combat units provided for in Protocol 23 to the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe;
   d) derogation from the unanimity rule in certain areas of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters;

Parliamentary control of the fight against international terrorism by the Institutions of the Union

44.  Highlights the vital importance of prevention in the fight against international terrorism and the need to share in real time with the other Member States and Institutions of the Union all information obtained through reliable and efficient information systems and for a rigorous and professional assessment of the reports drawn up by the various police and intelligence services;

45.  Asks the Council for the Interinstitutional Agreement of 20 November 2002 between the European Parliament and the Council concerning access by the European Parliament to sensitive information of the Council in the field of security and defence policy(10) to be reviewed and brought up-to-date in order to improve the current system for the transmission of classified information and to guarantee the transmission to the European Parliament of all available information relating to the fight against international terrorism, without its being under any circumstances denied information which, in the internal sphere, has been or should be transmitted to national parliaments by the respective governments of the Member States or the international organisations of which they form part;

46.  Calls on the Council not to limit itself in its annual report on the CFSP to describing the activities of the Union in the area of the fight against terrorism, but rather, on the basis of Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union, to really consult the European Parliament as regards the principal aspects and basic options of that fight, which constitutes a priority under the ESS, the Union's external action and the CFSP as a whole; considers it indispensable that it be informed and consulted in the event of a large-scale terrorist attack, where necessary through the Special Committee provided for in the above-mentioned Interinstitutional Agreement of 20 November 2002;

47.  Considers the High Level Political Dialogue on Counter-Terrorism, which brings the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission together on a six-monthly basis, to be a good example of the possibilities available for the indispensable interinstitutional cooperation needed in the fight against terrorism; proposes that such meetings be held at least on a quarterly basis and that the European Parliament Delegation also include the chairmen of the permanent committees on the three main areas of external action (foreign affairs, international trade and development cooperation);

48.  Asks for the reports drawn up by SitCen for the Council of the Union to be transmitted regularly to the European Parliament, if necessary pursuant to the modalities provided for in the above-mentioned Interinstitutional Agreement;

49.  Considers it of fundamental importance that the European Parliament be closely involved in the mechanism for implementing the solidarity clause (the introduction of which was approved in the Declaration on Combating Terrorism), essentially in cases where the decisions adopted have implications as regards the ESDP;

50.  Calls on the Commission and on the European Counter-Terrorism Coordinator to submit an annual report to the European Parliament on their activities in the fight against terrorism and to take due account of Parliament's observations and recommendations in that regard;

51.  Calls on the Council anew to inform Parliament on the regular updating of Council Common Position 2001/931/CFSP of 27 December 2001 on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism(11) (list of terrorist organisations and groups) and on developments since 2001;

52.  Pledges to establish an enhanced dialogue with the national parliaments on the fight against terrorism with a view to guaranteeing joint parliamentary control of the activities of the various security and intelligence services, given that, in its capacity as representative of the peoples of the European Union, it is incumbent upon the European Parliament to exercise public and transparent control over the measures adopted by the Union in relation to the fight against terrorism, including the activities of the European Counter-Terrorism Coordinator and of the various bodies dedicated to that task;

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53.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the European Council, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Council of Europe, the United Nations and its specialised agencies.

(1) OJ L 139, 29.5.2002, p. 9. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 14/2007 (OJ L 6, 11.1.2007, p. 6).
(2) OJ C 124 E, 25.5.2006, p. 241.
(3) OJ L 164, 22.6.2002, p. 3.
(4) "In addition to actions already proscribed by existing conventions, any action constitutes terrorism if it is intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a Government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act." (definition as originally proposed by the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change in its report of 2 December 2004).
(5) OJ L 309, 25.11.2005, p. 15.
(6) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2006)0382.
(7) OJ C 131 E, 5.6.2003, p. 147.
(8) OJ L 327, 24.11.2006, p. 1.
(9) OJ L 310, 9.11.2006, p. 1.
(10) OJ C 298, 30.11.2002, p. 1.
(11) OJ L 344, 28.12.2001, p. 93.

Last updated: 4 October 2007Legal notice