Procedure : 2015/2697(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0679/2015

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Debates :

Votes :

PV 09/07/2015 - 12.4
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Texts adopted :

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further to Questions for Oral Answer B8‑0566/2015 and B8‑0567/2015

pursuant to Rule 128(5) of the Rules of Procedure

on the European Agenda on Security (2015/2697(RSP))

Monika Hohlmeier on behalf of the PPE Group
Helga Stevens on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on the European Agenda on Security (2015/2697(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to Articles 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and to Articles 4, 16, 20, 67, 68, 70-73, 75 and 82-88 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

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

–       having regard to the Commission communication of 28 April 2015 on the European Agenda on Security (COM(2015)0185),

–       having regard to Europol’s EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) for 2014,

–       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 Regulation (EU) No 513/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing, as part of the Internal Security Fund, the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management and repealing Council Decision 2007/125/JHA(1),

–       having regard to its resolution of 17 December 2014 on renewing the EU Internal Security Strategy(2),

–       having regard to its resolution of 11 February 2015 on anti-terrorism measures(3),

–       having regard to its plenary debate of 28 April 2015 on the European Agenda on Security,

–       having regard to the questions to the Council and to the Commission on the European Agenda on Security (O-000064/2015 – B8‑0566/2015 and O-000065/2015 – B8‑0567/2015),

–       having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas the threats to the Union’s internal security have become more complex, hybrid, international, rapidly evolving and fluid in nature, going beyond the capacity of any individual Member State, and therefore require more than ever a coherent, comprehensive and coordinated EU response;

B.     whereas ensuring the security and freedom of European citizens is a shared responsibility of the Union and the Member States which calls for coordinated and aligned efforts by all Member States, EU institutions and agencies and law enforcement authorities, geared towards common goals and priorities and following shared principles;

C.     whereas national security remains the sole responsibility of each Member State as stated in Article 4 TEU;

D.     whereas security is a fundamental right as stated in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and whereas this fundamental right is under particular threat;

E.     whereas special attention should be paid to supporting and protecting all victims of crime across the EU as a major part of the security agenda;

F.     whereas ensuring the coherence between the internal and external aspects of security is of crucial importance;

1.      Welcomes the European Agenda on Security for the 2015-2020 period adopted by the Commission, and the priorities set out in it;

2.      Considers that, in view of the challenges the EU is currently facing, four immediate priorities require coordinated actions at national, EU and global level and full attention in the European Agenda on Security for 2015-2020, namely terrorism, radicalisation, cybercrime and organised crime, as they constitute the most serious threats to EU citizens’ security;

3.      Reiterates in the strongest manner that security measures must always fully comply with fundamental rights and the rule of law, and therefore welcomes the Commission’s commitment to continue basing the European Agenda on Security on the principles of respect for fundamental rights, transparency and democratic oversight;

Fight against terrorism

4.      Expresses its support for the measures set out in the Agenda to combat terrorism and prevent radicalisation; welcomes the statement made by the First Vice-President of the Commission, Frans Timmermans, in Parliament that the Commission will align the available financial resources to the priorities of the Agenda; stresses, in this regard, the importance of ensuring that the relevant EU agencies are equipped with sufficient human and financial resources to fulfil their existing and additional tasks under the Agenda; intends to closely scrutinise and assess the future need of the Internal Security Fund at EU and national level;

5.      Stresses that addressing the threat posed by foreign fighters and terrorism in general requires a multi-layer approach that involves comprehensively addressing underlying factors such as radicalisation, developing social cohesion and inclusiveness and facilitating reintegration by promoting political and religious tolerance, analysing and counterbalancing online incitement to perform terrorist acts, preventing departures to join terrorist organisations, preventing and stemming recruitment and engagement in armed conflicts, disrupting financial support to terrorist organisations and individuals aiming to join them, ensuring firm legal prosecution where appropriate and providing law enforcement authorities with the appropriate tools to perform their duties with full respect for fundamental rights.

6.      Recalls, in the light of the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels, Paris, Copenhagen and Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, the urgent need for the EU to better assess the threat to EU security and to focus on immediate priority areas for the fight against terrorism: reinforcing the security of the EU borders, enhancing Internet referral capabilities, combating illicit trafficking of firearms, and stepping up information-sharing and operational cooperation between national law enforcement and intelligence services;

7.      Welcomes the Commission’s urgent call to finalise the work on the establishment of an EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) System; recalls, in this regard, that Parliament committed itself to working towards the finalisation of the EU PNR Directive by the end of the year; calls on the Commission, the Member States and relevant EU bodies to actively contribute to a successful adoption of this file in order to provide the EU with an effective and efficient tool to combat terrorism and serious crime;

8.      Recalls the crucial importance of tracking and disrupting financial flows in combating terrorist networks and organised crime groups, including non-SWIFT financial flows; welcomes the efforts undertaken to ensure a fair and balanced participation in, and reiterates its attachment to, the US-led Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP);

9.      Regrets the lack of more concrete measures in the European Agenda on Security to more effectively tackle radicalisation in Europe; calls in particular on the EU to step up its efforts to counter radicalisation on the Internet and the use of Internet websites or social media to spread radical ideologies in Europe; stresses, in the wake of the atrocious and barbarous decapitation of a French citizen, the alarming threat posed by radicalisation in Europe; welcomes the creation of an Internet Referral Unit at Europol to support Member States in identifying and removing violent extremist content online with the cooperation of the industry, and calls on the Commission to provide the additional resources necessary for its functioning;

10.    Stresses the urgent need to intensify the prevention of radicalisation and foster deradicalisation programmes by empowering and engaging with communities and civil societies at national and local level to stop the spread of extremist ideologies; calls on the Commission to strengthen the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), which brings together all the actors involved in developing anti-radicalisation campaigns and setting up deradicalisation structures and processes for returning foreign fighters, and to directly challenge the extremist ideologies by providing positive alternatives;

11.    Calls on the Commission to propose a definition of ‘foreign fighters’, defining those individuals travelling to a conflict area to join a terrorist organisation, on the basis of the definition proposed by UN Security Council resolution 2178 (2014), in order to provide the judicial authorities with the ability to prosecute and penalise this offence where appropriate and so that this can be qualified as a serious criminal offence across the EU;

12.    Regrets that the Commission has not put forward concrete proposals, including through targeted research programmes, to identify and analyse the strategies used by recruiters of ‘foreign fighters’, who are using extremely sophisticated technological tools, communications strategies and articulated propaganda to attract young disaffected and vulnerable individuals, to incite them to join terrorist organisations and commit crimes or to draw them into radicalisation processes;

13.    Fully supports the Commission’s priority to help Member States to further develop mutual trust, fully exploit existing tools for information-sharing and foster cross-border operational cooperation between competent authorities; underlines the importance of such cross-border operational cooperation, in particular in border regions;

14.    Welcomes the Commission’s focus on border management as an essential aspect of preventing cross-border crime and terrorism; stresses that EU border security should be reinforced through systematic checks against existing databases such as the Schengen Information System (SIS), and welcomes the Commission’s commitment to present its revised proposal on Smart Borders by the beginning of 2016;

Cybercrime and cyber-facilitated crime

15.    Stresses that cybercrime and cyber-facilitated crime constitute a major threat to EU citizens and therefore require a new approach to law enforcement in the digital age; underlines that security for citizens has to be ensured to the same extent online as offline; recalls that new technological developments increase the impacts of crime in terms of scale and speed and therefore urges the Commission to provide law enforcement authorities with the legal and technical capabilities to tackle these crimes effectively with full respect for fundamental rights; is in favour of strengthening the budget and staff of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and developing new and strong instruments to fight cybercrime;

16.    Welcomes the work done by EC3 in fighting serious transnational cybercrime and cyber-facilitated crime; underlines the key role of EC3 in supporting Member States, in particular in the fight against child sexual exploitation; recalls the announcements made by the Commission to equip EC3 with the necessary experts and budget in order to boost areas of European cooperation which have not been addressed since its creation in 2013;

17.    Calls on the Commission to launch a commensurate awareness and preparedness campaign on the risks linked to serious cybercrime in order to improve resilience against cyber-attacks;

18.    Calls on the Commission to carry out a full assessment of existing measures related to combating the sexual exploitation of children online and to assess whether or not further legislative tools are required, and to examine whether Europol has sufficient expertise, resources and staff to be able to tackle this horrific crime;

Fight against organised crime

19.    Stresses the gravity of organised crime, in particular in terms of human trafficking, including forced prostitution, organ trafficking, child sexual exploitation and work slavery; recalls the extreme degrees of violence and brutality criminals exert on particularly vulnerable groups such as women, children and migrants; welcomes the existing framework and agrees to the need for a post-2016 strategy that fully involves Europol and Eurojust, on account of their expertise in this field;

20.    Acknowledges that the fight against organised crime requires strong European action and therefore supports the Commission’s determination to tackle this issue; calls on the Commission in particular to step up cooperation with third countries in tackling human trafficking, and in particular the smuggling of migrants, in order to avoid new tragedies in the Mediterranean;

21.    Stresses the importance of Joint Investigation Teams (JITs) to investigate specific cases of a cross-border nature, and calls on the Member States to use this successful tool more regularly and to look into how it can be used more effectively, in particular in border regions, to address issues such as drug trafficking, forced prostitution and human trafficking, and criminal motorcycle gangs;

22.    Regrets that instruments such as freezing and confiscation of criminal assets are not yet used systematically in all appropriate cross-border cases, and calls for increased efforts from the Member States and the Commission in this area;

23.    Believes that, apart from EU instruments to combat organised crime and terrorism, a European Agenda on Security should include protection mechanisms for victims of these serious crimes in order to prevent further victimisation; notes that the protection of victims should be regarded as an important tool to combat organised crime and terrorism, as it sends a clear message to offenders that society will not succumb to violence and will at all times safeguard victims and their dignity;

24.    Stresses the need for the EU institutions and the Member States to focus on the proper implementation of the Agenda for effective results, and notes with satisfaction in this regard the intention of the Commission to present Parliament and the Council with updated and regular information on the implementation of the Agenda;

25.    Supports the Commission’s call for more joined-up inter-agency cooperation; welcomes the measures proposed by the Commission for improving the exchange of information and increasing operational cooperation between the Member States and with the EU agencies;

26.    Welcomes the Commission’s announced assessment of the necessity and potential added value of a European Police Record Index System (EPRIS) to facilitate cross-border access to information held in national police records and fully supports the launch of a pilot project planned by a group of Member States to establish mechanisms for automated cross-border searches in national indexes on a ‘hit’/’no hit’ basis; underlines the importance of cross-border access to information, in particular in border regions;

27.    Expresses its satisfaction with the Commission’s commitment to ensure that the internal and external dimensions of the security policy work in tandem; underlines the need to further strengthen the links and synergies between the two; calls for enhanced coherence between external and internal instruments, especially in response to horizontal issues such as counterterrorism, terrorism, organised crime, foreign fighters, cyber defence, smuggling and trafficking in human beings, and migration; calls for further synergies between the EU’s policies and cooperation with regard to third countries (European External Action Service) and Freedom, Security and Justice actors (Europol, FRONTEX, the European Police College (CEPOL)) in order to address the complex internal and external nature of the current threats faced;

28.    Welcomes the Council Decision of 18 May 2015 inviting ‘the High Representative, in close consultation with the EU Member States, to present by the end of 2015 a joint framework with actionable proposals to help countering hybrid threats and foster the resilience of the EU and its Member States as well as partners’; invites the Council to develop closer synergies between internal and external EU security dimensions; calls for closer cooperation between all relevant EU bodies and agencies, Member States and other international organisations, in particular NATO, in order to develop greater situational awareness and early-warning mechanisms to counter the hybrid warfare threats in areas such as cyber defence, strategic communications, border security and energy security, amongst others;

29.    Agrees with the Commission on the importance of supporting actions relating to training, research and innovation and the important work of CEPOL in this field; considers that the training and exchange programmes for law enforcement officials are of significant importance for further fostering effective cooperation between national law enforcement authorities and between these authorities and Europol; believes that more investment in research and innovation relating to security is necessary;

30.    Points out that the rapidly changing security situation calls for a flexible and adaptive approach and a regular review of the priority actions set out in the Agenda, and asks the European Council to regularly conduct an assessment of threats to the EU;

31.    Notes with regret that not enough concrete measures are provided for in the Agenda to strengthen the justice dimension of the security framework; reiterates its call for further development of judicial cooperation in criminal matters, including through better use of mutual legal assistance instruments;

32.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.


OJ L 150, 20.5.2014, p. 93.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0102.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0032.

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