Procedure : 2015/2530(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0122/2015

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 11/02/2015 - 9.18
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


PDF 250kWORD 75k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0122/2015

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on terrorism-related measures (2015/2530(RSP))

Sophia in ‘t Veld, Javier Nart on behalf of the ALDE Group

European Parliament resolution on terrorism-related measures (2015/2530(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to Articles 2, 3, 6, 7 and 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and to Articles 4, 16, 20, 67, 68, 70, 71, 72, 75, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87 and 88 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–       having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Articles 6, 7, 8, 10(1), 11, 12, 21, 47-50, 52 and 53 thereof,

–       having regard to its resolution of 14 December 2011 on ‘the 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 Europol’s EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) for 2014,

–       having regard to Europol’s Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (iOCTA) for 2014,

–       having regard to Europol’s EU Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) for 2013,

–       having regard to Opinion 01/2014 of the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party on the application of necessity and proportionality concepts and data protection within the law enforcement sector,

–       having regard to the resolution adopted by the UN Security Council on 24 September 2014 on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts (Resolution 2178 (2014)),

–       having regard to its resolution of 27 February 2014 on ‘the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union (2012)’(3),

–       having regard to its resolution of 12 March 2014 on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens’ fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs(4),

–       having regard to Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council 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(5),

–       having regard to the Commission communication of 20 June 2014 on the final implementation report of the EU Internal Security Strategy 2010-2014 (COM(2014)0365),

–       having regard to its resolution of 17 December 2014 on renewing the EU Internal Security Strategy(6),

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

A.     whereas respect for fundamental rights and the rule of law is an essential element in successful counter-terrorism policies;

B.     whereas the recent tragic events in Paris stood as a reminder that the European Union is facing a continuous and evolving terrorist threat which over the past decade has severely hit several of its Member States with attacks targeting not only people but also the values and freedoms on which the Union is based;

C.     whereas security is one of the rights guaranteed by the EU Charter of Fundamental rights, which deserves an open and transparent debate in order to meet the ultimate objective of ensuring everyone’s safety and securing legal and public acceptance of the measures to be implemented;

D.     whereas combating terrorism and radicalisation leading to violence in the long term should rely on a transversal response, at all levels, which is also based on cohesion policies, education and, more broadly, socio-economic policies;

E.     whereas the terrorist threat in the EU has both an internal and an external dimension;

F.     whereas the scale of the challenge faced by the Union calls for a response that should clearly identify the most appropriate and relevant level of action, without excluding potential Treaty adaptation if necessary, and keep in mind the need to ensure democratic oversight mechanisms at all levels; whereas the absence of a clear definition of the concept of national security has regularly led Member States to limit the pooling of expertise, sharing of information and enhancing of cooperation at European level, on the grounds that the matter at stake – security – falls within their sole competence;

G.     whereas in all the attacks that have taken place over the past 10 years, the perpetrators were known to several intelligence services and sometimes also directly to law enforcement authorities, and whereas deficiencies have been clearly identified in the sharing and communication of the available information among authorities, whether at national or European level; whereas the fragmentation of information relating to terrorist threats which is held at national level prevents the use of its full potential;

H.     whereas the shift of resources in intelligence services towards a greater focus on indiscriminate collection of data and the constitution of multiple databases bringing together the results of mass collection programmes has affected the capacity of such services in terms of human intelligence – a tool which the lessons of past attacks show to have been crucially lacking;

I.      whereas the fast-evolving nature of serious cross-border crimes such as terrorism has often demonstrated the limits of European capacity in the fields of police and judicial cooperation, owing to a lack of integration in law enforcement cooperation and the limited harmonisation of the judicial framework necessary for the efficient prosecution of perpetrators;

J.      whereas prevention strategies to combat terrorism should rely on a multifaceted approach aimed at directly countering the preparation of attacks on EU territory, but also at integrating the need to address the root causes of terrorism, for instance by countering radicalisation leading to violence, by responding to terrorist propaganda, by addressing gaps in social integration and by identifying critical factors;

K.     whereas the counter-terrorism measures taken in the EU since the 9/11 attacks have sometimes not been implemented effectively or, on account of the specific context surrounding their adoption, have not sufficiently taken into account the need to guarantee all fundamental rights and to limit any potential interference with these rights by abiding by the principles of necessity and proportionality in relation to the objectives pursued; whereas in its judgment in Joined Cases C-293/12 and C-594/12 the Court of Justice declared the Data Retention Directive to be invalid;

L.     whereas in line with good legislative practice, the presentation of new instruments to combat terrorism should be accompanied by a thorough evaluation of existing tools and their implementation, in order to define implementation gaps and legislative loopholes to be further addressed;

1.      Expresses its condolences to the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and their families and to the victims of terrorism across the world; asks all the Member States to effectively and swiftly implement Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime;

2.      Calls on the Commission and the Council to endorse a renewed roadmap for combating terrorism which delivers an efficient response to existing threats and ensures effective security for all while guaranteeing the rights and freedoms which are the founding principles of the European project;

3.      Emphasises, in particular, 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 be aimed first and foremost at prevention, and highlights the need to promote dialogue, tolerance and understanding among different cultures and religions;

4.      Reiterates its call 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 EU agencies in this area, in particular Europol and Eurojust, and a corresponding assessment of remaining gaps, making use of the procedure provided for in Article 70 TFEU, and to publish this evaluation together with the European Agenda on Security;

Addressing intelligence- and information-sharing needs at EU level

5.      Calls for the establishment of a European body for the sharing, exchange and proactive communication of information from national intelligence services, with the long-term objective of setting up mandatory sharing of national intelligence on terrorist threats;

6.      Points out that there must be a clear distinction between law enforcement and intelligence information gathering for national security purposes; insists that the establishment of such a body be accompanied by the creation of a proper Treaty basis and a legal framework that covers safeguards for citizens’ rights and mechanisms for democratic oversight;

7.      Calls on the Member States to make optimal use of existing platforms, databases and alert systems at European level, such as the Schengen Information System (SIS), the Europol Information System (EIS), the Europol Focal Point Travellers and the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS);

8.      Insists that further obligations be introduced for the Member States, making it mandatory to share information relating to serious crimes and terrorism through SIS reporting, thus improving the efficiency of these existing tools;

9.      Points out that the adoption of any future instrument involving the collection, processing and storage of personal data for law enforcement purposes should rely on a clearly defined overall framework for such purposes;

10.    Calls on the Commission to review its proposal for a legal framework for the collection of passenger name record data across the EU, so as to comply with EU primary law and to align the proposal with the most recent case law; calls for the swift and simultaneous adoption of the data protection package, including through the adoption of a general approach within the Council that is consistent with the minimum standards laid down in Directive 95/46/EU;

11.    Insists that any future instrument implemented that involves the collection of personal data should respect the principles of necessity and proportionality;

Upgrading internal security and law enforcement capacities

12.    Recognises the need to strengthen cooperation between law enforcement authorities and the role of Europol; expresses, in this connection, its willingness to work with the Council to reach an agreement on a renewed legal framework for Europol;

13.    Calls on the Commission to consider a proposal for the establishment of a European Counter-terrorism Centre within Europol, mirroring the existing European Cybercrime Centre (EC3);

14.    Points out that it is also essential that national legislation ensure the professionalism of police forces, and that the compliance of police and surveillance activities with fundamental rights is ensured at the European and national levels; welcomes, in this connection, the Commission proposal for a renewed legal framework for the European Police College (CEPOL);

15.    Insists that the Schengen acquis should be preserved and defended against any attempt to use the current security threat politically to undermine freedom of movement;

16.    Calls on the Member States to make full use of all the tools already at their disposal to secure the Schengen area and the Union’s territory, including by checking the travel documents of all persons – regardless of their nationality – at the EU’s external borders in order to establish their identity and by consulting relevant databases at each check, in line with a flexible interpretation of the current Schengen Borders Code;

17.    Stresses that the question of parental authorisation for minors leaving the territory of their Member State of residence, currently applied inconsistently across the EU, should also be raised in order to assess whether a mandatory permit is necessary at EU level;

18.    Regrets the Council’s reluctance to make progress on the proposed comprehensive cybersecurity strategy, which represents the EU’s vision of how best to prevent and respond to cyber-attacks;

Adapting the European judicial framework to address serious cross-border crime

19.    Stresses that the judicial framework at the European level for effectively prosecuting serious cross-border crime such as terrorism must be adapted and upgraded; supports, in this connection, an efficient legislative process aimed at coming up with a reformed Eurojust without any further delay, thereby enhancing the exchange of information on prosecutions and convictions;

20.    Believes that mandatory communication to Eurojust of prosecutions in the field of terrorism should be explored, and that synergies between Eurojust and Europol in their respective fields of competence must be strengthened;

21.    Insists that the strengthening of Eurojust must be adopted in parallel with the proposal establishing a European Public Prosecutor’s Office;

22.    Calls for a broader mandate for the European Public Prosecutor’s Office so as to cover certain categories of serious cross-border crime, such as terrorism and organised crime, thus allowing a more efficient judicial response and a greater preventive arm in the field of justice;

23.    Welcomes the upcoming adoption at European level of an updated legal framework for combating money laundering, as a decisive step to be implemented at all levels in order to ensure its effectiveness and thus address a significant source of financing for terrorist organisations;

24.    Insists on the need to step up the monitoring of, and the fight against, terrorism financing, organised crime and trafficking as part of a comprehensive strategy which effectively targets the various sources of financing currently supporting terrorist organisations and projects;

25.    Calls for a review of the Firearms Directive (Directive 91/477/EEC, as amended by Directive 2008/51/EC) in order to improve the exchange of information in this area and better coordinate the European response to this phenomenon; considers that combating trafficking in firearms should be a priority for the EU in fighting serious and organised international crime;

Combating the root causes of terrorism and radicalisation leading to violence

26.    Stresses that the current debate on the upscaling of security and surveillance measures to tackle terrorism must not be the sole focus of a future European response; points out that the need to prevent and tackle radicalisation leading to violence is of primary importance in order to deliver on the long-term objective of protecting the European Union from terrorist threats;

27.    Calls on the Commission to support Member States in addressing the factors underlying radicalisation and extremism leading to violence, and in designing prevention strategies which encompass the fields of education, social integration, efforts to combat discrimination, and intercultural and interreligious dialogue;

28.    Calls for the adoption of a Council recommendation on national strategies for the prevention of radicalisation leading to violence, which would address the wide range of underlying factors behind radicalisation and make recommendations to the Member States on the setting-up of disengagement, rehabilitation and deradicalisation programmes;

29.    Insists that special attention be given to prisons and detention conditions, with targeted measures to address radicalisation in this environment;

30.    Supports the adoption of a European strategy for countering terrorist propaganda, radical networks and online recruitment, building upon the efforts already made and the initiatives already taken on an intergovernmental and voluntary basis with a view to further exchanges of best practice and successful methods in this area, and contributing to the development of a counter-narrative directed at the individuals usually targeted by recruiters;

31.    Strongly believes that a strategic focus of prevention strategies should also be on support for community leaders who promote deradicalisation, with priority being given to policies targeting the local and community levels, including the development and production of counter-speech and communication strategies for specific audiences;

32.    Insists that in order to be effective and credible, a strategy targeting the root causes of terrorism and radicalisation leading to violence must also rely on positive reinforcement of the fundamental values on which the Union is based; calls, in this connection, for the adoption of an EU Democratic Governance Pact setting up a binding and gradual instrument to ensure effective compliance with the principles of democracy and fundamental rights within the EU;

33.    Calls on the Commission to engage with all internet stakeholders with a view to setting common standards at EU level and defining a security response to terrorism and cybercrime while preventing any fragmentation of the internet;

34.    Recommends the establishment of a steering group composed of experts and company representatives to define a coordinated policy response addressing the issues of access, content removal and cooperation with police and judicial authorities, and recommends that the EU subsequently set common standards for companies to implement access, content and removal policies in a uniform manner;

35.    Points out that a response strategy targeting the internet needs to ensure that human rights and fundamental freedoms – such as the rights to privacy, data protection, a fair trial and legal remedies – receive the same protection online as offline;

Adopting an EU external strategy for combating international terrorism

36.    Calls on the European External Action Service (EEAS) to adopt an EU external strategy for combating international terrorism, in order to address the sources of international terrorism and mainstream counter-terrorism in the common foreign and security policy calls for the EEAS to create the position of ‘security attaché’ within EU delegations to third countries;

37.    Calls on the Commission and the EEAS to develop a counter-terrorism cooperation strategy with third countries while ensuring that international human rights standards are respected, in particular the right to due process;

38.    Urges the EEAS and the Member States to prioritise cooperation with neighbouring countries, especially Turkey, on counter-terrorism cooperation and border and migration control, including a common European policy with regard to visas between Member States and Turkey;

39.    Notes the new phenomenon of hybrid war, including the dimension of state-supported terrorism and new methods of terrorist warfare such as economic and information attacks and cyber-attacks;

40.    Highlights the importance of fighting poverty and inequality all over the world, promoting peaceful solutions to international and internal crises and alleviating human suffering everywhere, and urges the EU not to apply double standards when promoting our values and goals in our external policies;

41.    Supports the implementation of the the Treaty of Joint Defence and Economic Cooperation of the League of Arab States in order to address the dangers all around the Arab region resulting from the wave of extremist jihadist mentality expanding through Islamic State (IS), the Houthis in Yemen and other groups; calls for continued efforts to move key actors in the Arab world to give up proxy wars in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, to abandon their financial support for militias and to seek negotiated solutions for peace and stability in the region;

42.    Urges increased efforts to create a European defence capacity and to increase military cooperation with neighbouring countries and strategic third countries, in particular by providing training assistance, technical advice in the field, support for offensive capacity and direct military engagement with local forces;

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


OJ C 168 E, 14.6.2013, p. 45.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0418.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0173.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0230.


OJ L 315, 14.11.2012, p. 57.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0102.

Legal notice - Privacy policy