Terrorism : How Parliament is addressing the threat

Overview of the situation

  • 142 people lost their lives in terrorist attacks in the EU in 2016

  • An estimated 5,000 Europeans have joined terrorist organisations in Iraq and Syria

  • 1,002 people were arrested for terrorism-related offences in 2016. Mainly:

    1.   France : 456
    2.   United Kingdom : 149
    3.   Spain : 120

    44% of them were EU citizens

Eurobarometer poll commissioned by the European Parliament

  • 80% of Europeans want the EU to do more to fight terrorism (April 2017)

  • 40% think the risk of an attack is high in their country (April 2016)

Measures adopted (Since January 2015)

  1. : EU budget 2018

    Additional EU funding for the fight against terrorism

  2. : Support for EU defence integration

    A strong response to international threats and closer EU defence ties

  3. : Shared database for entry, exit and refusal of entry of non-EU nationals

    A common electronic system to speed up checks on non-EU nationals who cross the Schengen zone’s external borders.

  4. : Arms exports

    Parliament proposes an upgrade of EU arms export control

  5. : Setting up special committee on terrorism

    The committee investigates deficiencies in the fight against terrorism and propose improvements

  6. : Stronger controls on firearms

    Tighter rules on deactivation and conversion, as well as acquisition and possession of the most dangerous firearms

  7. : Mandatory checks at external borders

    All EU citizens and third country nationals entering or leaving the EU will be checked against databases

  8. : Planning of terrorist attacks

    Financing terrorist activities, training for them or travelling abroad in order to take part in them are made a crime in the whole of the EU

  9. : Cybersecurity

    Firms supplying essential services have to improve their capacity to resist online threats

  10. : Virtual currencies

    Parliament calls for a watchdog to prevent virtual currencies such Bitcoin from being used for terrorist purposes

  11. : Europol

    Europol can set up specialised units more easily and exchange information with private companies

  12. : Data transfers for policing and judicial purposes

    Facilitating cross-border cooperation between police forces and prosecutors.

    Ensuring that the data of victims, witnesses and suspects are protected

  13. : Passenger Name Records (PNR)

    Airlines have to provide member states with information on their passengers on flights to and from the EU

  14. : Budgetary support

    MEPs approve €2 million to hire new staff for Europol’s European Counter Terrorism Centre

  15. : Radicalisation and recruitment

    MEPs call for a new EU strategy to tackle extremism.

    Among others they propose segregating radicalised inmates in prisons and deleting online content promoting violent extremism

  16. : Money laundering

    Tougher rules to make it easier to trace transfers of funds and sources of wealth