Counter-terrorism funding in the EU budget

08-04-2016

Counter-terrorism (CT) spending by Western countries has increased over the past 15 years. Since 2001, United States (US) federal expenditure on homeland security has grown on average by $360 billion annually. While it is not possible to calculate total EU and Member State spending on CT with any precision, EU spending is estimated to have increased from €5.7 million in 2002 to €93.5 million in 2009. The broader 'Security and Citizenship' heading in the EU budget was increased from €2 522 million in 2015 to €4 052 million in 2016. Spending on CT, including EU funds and operational expenses for the functioning of the institutional framework, has increased. Greater investment in CT may provide a response to the upsurge in terrorist threats. Increased spending, however, is not always followed by a reduced incidence of terrorism. The EU's increased efforts to develop a strategy to tackle terrorism and to improve the institutional framework must be seen alongside concerns that its approach to CT may amount to a 'paper tiger'. While CT remains mainly in the realm of national policy, it has received increased attention at the EU level. Following the terrorist attacks in 2015 in Paris and Copenhagen, and 2016 in Brussels, counter-terrorism has become an area of even higher priority in the EU. A number of proposals are under discussion (or have been approved) at EU level to further implement and strengthen EU strategy on CT. For example, the European Counter-Terrorism Centre was established within Europol in January 2016. This briefing updates the previous edition published on 8 June 2015.

Counter-terrorism (CT) spending by Western countries has increased over the past 15 years. Since 2001, United States (US) federal expenditure on homeland security has grown on average by $360 billion annually. While it is not possible to calculate total EU and Member State spending on CT with any precision, EU spending is estimated to have increased from €5.7 million in 2002 to €93.5 million in 2009. The broader 'Security and Citizenship' heading in the EU budget was increased from €2 522 million in 2015 to €4 052 million in 2016. Spending on CT, including EU funds and operational expenses for the functioning of the institutional framework, has increased. Greater investment in CT may provide a response to the upsurge in terrorist threats. Increased spending, however, is not always followed by a reduced incidence of terrorism. The EU's increased efforts to develop a strategy to tackle terrorism and to improve the institutional framework must be seen alongside concerns that its approach to CT may amount to a 'paper tiger'. While CT remains mainly in the realm of national policy, it has received increased attention at the EU level. Following the terrorist attacks in 2015 in Paris and Copenhagen, and 2016 in Brussels, counter-terrorism has become an area of even higher priority in the EU. A number of proposals are under discussion (or have been approved) at EU level to further implement and strengthen EU strategy on CT. For example, the European Counter-Terrorism Centre was established within Europol in January 2016. This briefing updates the previous edition published on 8 June 2015.