Motion for a resolution - B8-0100/2015Motion for a resolution

    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on anti-terrorism measures

    4.2.2015 - (2015/2530(RSP))

    to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
    pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

    Judith Sargentini, Jan Philipp Albrecht, Eva Joly, Ulrike Lunacek, Jean Lambert on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

    Procedure : 2015/2530(RSP)
    Document stages in plenary
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    Texts tabled :
    Debates :
    Texts adopted :


    European Parliament resolution on anti-terrorism measures


    The European Parliament,

    –       having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, to Articles 2, 3 and 6 of the Treaty on European Union, and to the relevant Articles of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

    –       having regard to its resolution of 14 December 2011 on EU counter-terrorism policy: main achievements and future challenges[1],

    –       having regard to its resolution of 10 October 2013 on alleged transportation and illegal detention of prisoners in European countries by the CIA[2],

    –       having regard to its resolution of 27 February 2014 on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union (2012),

    –       having regard to its resolution of 12 March 2014 on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and impact on EU citizens’ fundamental rights[3],

    –       having regard to Directive 2012/29/EU of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA,

    –       having regard to its resolution of 17 December 2014 on renewing the EU Internal Security Strategy[4],

    –       having regard to the Commission communication of 27 March 2013 on the EU Justice scoreboard (COM(2013)0160),

    –       having regard to the Commission’s EU anti-corruption report of 3 February 2014 (COM(2014)0038),

    –       having regard to the conclusions on the fight against terrorism of the Foreign Affairs Council held on 19 January 2015, and in particular the decision to enhance the exchange of information with partner countries and to promote reinforced cooperation with Arab and Mediterranean countries including a memorandum of Understanding with the League of Arab States,

    –       having regard to the EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy, adopted on 25 June 2012,

    –       having regard to the judgment of the Court of Justice of 8 April 2014 in joined cases C-293/12 and C-594/12, Digital Rights Ireland ltd and Seitlinger and others, and the opinion of Parliament’s Legal Service on the interpretation of this judgment,

    –       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

    A.     whereas respect for fundamental rights is an essential element in successful counter-terrorism policies;

    B.     whereas severe terrorist attacks on EU soil since 9/11 have had a significant impact on the sense of security among EU citizens and residents;

    C.     whereas since 9/11 the EU has introduced 239 counter-terrorism measures, in the form of: 26 action plans and strategy documents, 25 regulations, 15 directives, 11 framework decisions, 25 decisions, 1 joint action, 3 common positions, 4 resolutions, 111 Council conclusions, and 8 international agreements[5];

    D.     whereas a proper and systematic evaluation of these measures is largely missing;

    E.     whereas recently there has been an alarming rise in racism and xenophobia, including anti-Semitism, Antiziganism and Islamophobia;

    F.     whereas there is an urgent need for a uniform legal definition of the concept of ‘profiling’ based on the relevant fundamental rights and data protection standards, in order to reduce uncertainty as to which activities are prohibited and which are not;

    G.     whereas according to figures published by the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) there are considerable disparities in investment by the EU Member States in their criminal justice systems[6];

    1.      Extends its deep condolences to the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and across the world and to their families;

    2.      Stresses that an essential dimension of the fight against terrorism must be the inclusion of policies to protect and support the victims and their families; calls, therefore, on all Member States to properly implement Directive 2012/29/EU of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime;

    3.      Reaffirms its commitment to upholding the freedom of expression, fundamental rights, democracy, tolerance and the rule of law;

    4.      Insists on a comprehensive approach towards anti-radicalisation and counter-terrorism which focuses on strengthening social cohesion, crime prevention, targeted policing and security activities based on an individual suspicion or concrete threat determined by people not machines; emphasises, moreover, the need to tighten up rules on the acquisition and possession of weapons, export rules and the fight against the illegal trafficking of weapons; further insists on the proper resourcing of teachers, social workers, psychologists, local police officers, investigators, prosecutors, judges and prison staff , reversing the austerity measures which have so seriously disrupted the fabric of European societies;

    5.      Stresses that we should not undermine the liberties we are seeking to uphold in the fight against terrorism by putting in place largely symbolic repressive, mass surveillance and border control measures which will lead to a European Union where everybody is under suspicion, nobody is free and the principle of free movement is undone; warns, moreover, of the stigmatising effect of profiling on individuals within our societies whom we are seeking to build better relationships with;

    6.      Emphasises the need for the European Union, its Member States and its partner countries to base their strategy for combating international terrorism on the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights; stresses, furthermore, that the Union’s external actions to combat international terrorism should in the first place be aimed at prevention;

    7.      Points out that, as with previous attacks, the perpetrators of the Paris attacks were already known to the security authorities and had been the subject of investigations and supervision measures; expresses its concern regarding to what extent the existing data on these individuals could have been exchanged among those authorities and, where necessary, with colleagues from other Member States, making effective use of EU databases and through collaboration with EU agencies;

    8.      Calls on the Commission and the Council to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the EU’s counter-terrorism and related measures, in particular as regards their implementation in law and in practice in the Member States and the degree to which the Member States cooperate with the EU’s agencies in the area, notably Europol and Eurojust, and to undertake a corresponding assessment of the remaining gaps, as well as of the measures’ compliance with the EU’s fundamental rights obligations, making use of the procedure provided for in Article 70 TFEU; insists that the external dimension of the EU’s counter-terrorism measures must also be included in this evaluation, to be published together with the European Agenda on Security in May 2015;

    9.      Insists on the need for democratic and judicial oversight of counter-terrorism policies; stresses that measures that in retrospect were not necessary, effective or proportionate to combat terrorism need to be repealed, violations of fundamental rights investigated and redressed and new forms of democratic scrutiny developed, based on the powers granted to the European Parliament and the national parliaments by the Lisbon Treaty; insists on the inclusion of sunset or periodic reauthorisation clauses in such measures and agreements; rejects the use of national security as a pretext to undermine fundamental rights, such as lawyer-client confidentiality; calls for an urgent clarification of the concept of national security in the context of European law;

    A comprehensive approach to anti-radicalisation and counter-terrorism

    10.    Highlights the fact that economic, educational and social policies can help combating exclusion and the impact of rapid socio-economic change, which give rise to grievances and frustrations that could potentially be exploited by violent extremists; calls, therefore, for policies to fundamentally improve economic and social inclusion, dialogue, participation, equality, tolerance and understanding among different cultures and religions;

    11.    Calls on the Member States to invest in educational programmes for respecting human dignity, promoting equal opportunities, combating all types of discrimination and promoting integration from an early age; stresses that this includes training teachers in social issues and diversity;

    12.    Warns that the lack of prospects of participating fully in society caused by poverty and unemployment might lead to individuals feeling disempowered and even turning to destructive self-empowering behaviour of an extremist nature attacking society as such; calls on the Member States to step up their efforts in reducing poverty, offering employment prospects and empowering and respecting the individual;

    13.    Stresses that discrimination and hate speech may lead in some cases to reinforced radicalisation and violence patterns; emphasises that equality and non-discrimination standards must be the primary answer, complemented by specific policy strategies to address all forms of discrimination;

    14.    Expresses its concern at the disproportionate effects on Muslim communities of the post- 9/11 practices, in particular the use of racial profiling;

    15.    Highlights that introducing and reinforcing cooperation with relevant communities in individual Member States is vital, both to identify specific risks and as a part of general deradicalisation strategies; expresses support for programmes empowering ethnic and religious minorities and marginalised communities to contribute to improving the social and economic status of their respective communities in the medium to long term, at both local and regional levels; points out in this regard that radicalisation in the EU is not limited to specific ethnic or religious groups;

    16.    Stresses that relevant law enforcement measures are already in place in every EU Member State;

    -  Passport data of passengers (under the Advance Passenger Information System or APIS) are already checked against databases of known criminals and inadmissible persons;

    -  Law enforcement authorities can access the phone and passenger data of suspects, or even groups of suspects, when they are linked to a concrete threat;

    -  The Schengen Information System prescribes the discreet surveillance of individuals and their swift apprehension and extradition should they represent a threat to security, intend to commit a crime or be suspected of having committed a crime;

    considers that law enforcement authorities need to give priority to using these possibilities and stepping up their cooperation, inter alia through the establishment of joint investigation teams and with the assistance of EU agencies such as Europol, Eurojust and CEPOL;

    17.    Considers that combating trafficking in firearms should be a priority for the EU in fighting serious and organised international crime; believes that, in particular, cooperation needs to be strengthened further as regards information exchange mechanisms and the traceability and destruction of prohibited weapons; insists, furthermore, that the common position on defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment should be strictly adhered to by Member States;

    18.    Calls for the proper implementation of the anti-money laundering acquis so as to enable early identification of terrorist financing;

    19.    Stresses that targeted border checks can already be performed on individuals enjoying the right of free movement as they cross external borders, during a certain period of time, or on certain routes, or for certain border crossing points, in accordance with the level of the threat; insists that Member States should make full and better use of the existing Schengen framework and allocate the necessary resources, instead of attempting to reintroduce border controls beyond the possibilities which already exist;

    20.    Recalls that in April 2014 the European Court of Justice annulled the Data Retention Directive (DRD), on the grounds that retaining data in the absence of ‘any relationship between the data whose retention is provided for and a threat to public security’ is not in line with the guarantees of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; emphasises that this link is of the utmost importance not only with regard to the DRD, but also for any other data retention scheme that involves the storage of data of non-suspicious persons; recalls the Court’s criticism of the absence of other limitations to retention such as restrictions ‘in relation (i) to data pertaining to a particular time period and/or a particular geographical zone and/or to a circle of particular persons likely to be involved, in one way or another, in a serious crime, or (ii) to persons who could, for other reasons, contribute, by the retention of their data, to the prevention, detection or prosecution of serious offences’[7];

    21.    Calls on the Commission to formally review the EU PNR proposal against the criteria set by the Court of Justice in the Data Retention judgment; instructs its Legal Service to conduct a similar review within 6 weeks of the adoption of this resolution; insists that a ‘general programme of surveillance’[8] such as that implied by the EU PNR proposal cannot be adopted before the Court of Justice has delivered its opinion on the EU-Canada agreement on PNR transfer and use, as requested by Parliament in November 2014[9];

    22.    Underlines that measures limiting fundamental rights on the internet for counter-terrorism purposes need to be necessary and proportionate, and, in particular, to be based on a proper definition of terrorism which is currently lacking; insists, furthermore, that the removal of criminal content should be carried out on the basis of a judicial authorisation and not through private policing by internet service providers;

    23.    Reiterates its call for the promotion of encrypting communications in general, including email and SMS communication[10]; underlines that a ban on encryption would be detrimental for protecting personal data over communications, commercial and financial networks, and government and critical infrastructure systems, opening them up to criminal and other interception;

    24.    Reiterates that all data collection and sharing, including by EU agencies such as Europol, should be compliant with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and based on a coherent data protection framework offering legally binding personal data protection standards, especially with regard to purpose limitation, data minimisation, information, access, correction, erasure and judicial redress; calls for the swift adoption of the data protection package, including through the adoption of a general approach in Council on both the Regulation and the Directive respecting the minimum standards laid down in Directive 95/46/EU;

    25.    Calls on Member States to step up judicial cooperation between them based on the available EU instruments, such as ECRIS, the European Arrest Warrant and the European Investigation Order, while respecting proportionality and fundamental rights; also calls on Member States to swiftly agree on all measures proposed in accordance with the roadmap on procedural rights, and to address decisions on pre-trial detention and prison conditions as a next step;

    26.    Calls on Member States to invest in their criminal justice systems to ensure proper, swift and human rights-compliant investigations and prosecutions;

    27.    Reiterates that the purpose of our criminal justice system should be to rehabilitate individuals so that they no longer pose a risk to society when they return to it; calls on Member States to invest in the necessary human resources for this purpose; expresses its support for deradicalisation initiatives such as that developed in the Danish city of Aarhus;

    28.    Warns against the temptation to revert to the earlier short-sighted and ineffective practices of collusion with authoritarian regimes in the name of security and stability; urges the EU to drastically revise its strategy towards the southern Mediterranean as part of the ongoing European Neighbourhood Policy review, and to focus on supporting those countries and actors who are genuinely committed to shared values and to reform;

    29.    Calls for more coherent external policies addressing the root causes of violent conflict, extremism and radicalisation, such as fragility and underdevelopment and especially the widening inequality gap in the world;

    30.    Underlines that the EU should strengthen political dialogue with the Muslim world to disassociate the links between terrorism and Islam currently dominating the public debate; reiterates that the EU’s external counter-terrorism policy must primarily follow a criminal justice approach which strictly respects international human rights law and international humanitarian law and supports efforts in the field of deradicalisation and countering violent extremism; calls on the EU to not support repressive trends in third countries;

    31.    Insists that counter-terrorism assistance projects of the Commission and Member States together with third countries must comply with human rights and, where applicable, international humanitarian law, in particular with regard to due process requirements; decides to carry out an assessment of the human rights safeguards and guidance applied by the EU and its Member States in counter-terrorism projects, notably in the Southern Neighbourhood region; decides to organise a hearing on parliamentary oversight of counter-terrorism activities and legislation with parliaments and civil society actors from the Euro-Mediterranean region;

    32.    Reminds the European External Action Service, the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator and the Member States of their commitment, under the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy adopted in June 2012, to ensure that human rights are raised in all forms of counter-terrorism dialogues with third countries;

    33.    Reminds Member States and EU agencies of their obligations under the Charter of Fundamental Rights and international human rights law and of the EU’s external policy objectives, which forbid them to share intelligence data which might lead to human rights violations in a third country or to use information obtained as a result of torture outside the EU;

    34.    Expresses its firm opposition to the use of drones for extrajudicial killings of terror suspects, and calls for more transparency and accountability regarding the use of drones, including through an EU Common Position formalising a legal framework for the use of drones in line with the resolution of Parliament adopted on 27 February 2014[11];

    35.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.