The EU presents A Counter-Terrorism Agenda for the EU: Anticipate, Prevent, Protect, Respond

10 December 2020

On 9th December new Counter-Terrorism Agenda for the EU has been presented.

The new Agenda, previously announced in the EU’s Security Union Strategy, brings together existing and new strands of work in a joined-up approach to combatting terrorism. This approach will be developed in coordination with the Member States, while working with the European Parliament and the Council and engaging society as a whole: citizens, communities, faith groups, civil society, researchers, businesses, and private partners.

The Agenda builds on what has been achieved over the past years and sets out a series of actions to be implemented at national, EU and international level across four pillars:

  1. Anticipate, existing and emerging threats in Europe. Information sharing and a culture of cooperation that is multi-disciplinary and multi-level remain key for a solid threat assessment that can form the basis of a future-proof counterterrorism policy.
  2. Prevent attacks from occurring, by addressing and better countering radicalisation and extremist ideologies before they take root, making clear that respect for the European way of life, its democratic values and all it represents is not optional. This Agenda sets out ways of supporting local actors and building more resilient communities as a matter of priority, in close coordination with Member States, taking into account that some attacks have also been carried out by Europeans, raised within our societies, who were radicalised without ever having visited a conflict zone.
  3. Protect Europeans, we need to continue to reduce vulnerabilities, be it in public spaces or for the critical infrastructures that are essential for the functioning of our societies and economy. It is essential to modernise the management of the EU’s external borders through new and upgraded large-scale EU information systems, with reinforced support by Frontex and eu-LISA, and ensure systematic checks at the EU’s external borders. This is necessary to close what would otherwise be a security gap when it comes to returning foreign terrorist fighters.
  4. Respond to attacks when they do occur, we need to make the most of the operational support EU Agencies, such as Europol and Eurojust, can provide, as well as ensure we have the right legal framework to bring perpetrators to justice and to guarantee that victims get the support and protection they need.

Underpinning this approach is the need to continue to place a relentless emphasis on implementation and enforcement. In fact, to reap the benefits of EU-wide harmonisation and cooperation it is crucial that there are no gaps or delays in how EU Member States apply key instruments and tools, such as the Directive on combating terrorism, the Firearms Directive and legal framework on combating money laundering and terrorist financing . Furthermore, international engagement across all four pillars of this Agenda will also be essential to improve EU internal security, facilitating cooperation and promoting capacity building.

You can find here the complete Agenda.

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