14 July 2016

Anti-terrorism policy

Terrorism has been given priority in Europe after the attacks of 11 September 2001 in New York, March 11, 2004 in Madrid, and July 7, 2005 in London.

Anti-terrorism policy

Terrorism has been given priority in Europe after the attacks of 11 September 2001 in New York, March 11, 2004 in Madrid, and July 7, 2005 in London. A reason for re-launching terrorism by President Tusk of the European Council was the attack on the editors of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, Paris, on January 7, 2015. The European Council gave the European Commission's task to the European Commission at the beginning of last year to use a European Passenger Name Register as a standard. Following the attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015 and in Brussels on March 22, 2016, it is clear that an effective approach to terrorism is of great importance.


Police and intelligence services from various countries have been working together to prevent terrorist attacks since the end of the 20th century. This cooperation has only been extended since the terrorist attacks of recent times in Europe. Combating terrorism is a priority for all major collaborations in Europe (European Union, Council of Europe, OSCE, and NATO). In March 2016, the Council concluded an agreement on an additional anti-terrorism directive, in which preparatory actions such as; following a terrorist training, travelling with terrorist purposes and giving (financial) assistance in preparatory actions, become criminal offenses. In May 2016, the European Parliament agreed to give more powers of information exchange to Europol.


The security and freedom of the citizens of the European Union is severely affected by terrorism. Through an appropriate policy, the EU has been trying to prepare for a number of years for events that could endanger the security and freedom of citizens. The Amsterdam Treaty of 1997 laid the foundations for the EU's action in the field of terrorism. These actions are further expanded after all the attacks of recent years in the US and in Europe.

EU anti-terrorism policy focuses on various subjects:

Institutions and bodies: more and more EU bodies work together in this area to tackle terrorism together. Access to and exchange of information: countries EU-wide are working on it, but also with the US. For example, the EU and the US exchange personal data from air passengers. Prevention: Opportunities and resources must be inadequate for terrorists. In fact, EU passports were adapted so that it would be more complex to access resources that could be used for weapons. The possibilities for funding terrorist organisations are also limited. Protection: Here you can think of the safety of important public places and attention to the victims. Persecution: There has been a European arrest warrant and extradition treaty between EU Member States since 2002.

Settings and organs

The FRONTEX agency was set up in May 2005 for the surveillance of external borders. Europol, the EU agency, was strengthened and a Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation in the field of Internal Security was established.

Terrorism Coordinator

The tasks of the EU Coordinator are carried out by Gilles de Kerchove from Belgium since 17 September 2007. Gilles de Kerchove coordinates, on behalf of the entire European Council, the policy of combating all terrorism within the EU. One of his tasks is to make communication between the EU Member States well in the field of anti-terrorism policy. He also has to ensure that the joint EU strategy is implemented against terrorism. In his report of March 4, 2016, he noted that progress has been made in all areas. Only the information exchange between the police, intelligence services and border security should be improved as soon as possible.

European Centre for Counterterrorism

The European Centre for Counterterrorism was launched by Europol on January 25, 2016. This centre has come to ensure that there is a better exchange of information between European services that must fight terrorism. Reason for launching the European Centre is the Paris attacks of 13 November 2015, but also the on-going terrorist threats in Europe. It is intended that this will be the central information point in the fight against terrorism. The aim of this centre is to ensure better cooperation between national police and security services. Recently Europol has the opportunity to remove terrorist propaganda directly from the Internet.

Exchanging information

The US has also been looking for various opportunities since 2001 to prevent terrorist attacks in the future. One of these options is to exchange information from all passengers travelling to other parts of the world from other parts of the world. The USA still had the possession of private data from passengers traveling to the USA including name and credit card data high on their priority list. The EU has primarily tried to protect the privacy of its citizens, but eventually a treaty has been concluded with the United States in 2012 after a long battle. On November 18, 2011, an agreement was reached, namely that of providing bank details to the US. Also called the SWIFT agreement. It was already permitted to obtain some information in this data, but not as extensive as the US would like at first. However, the US may only use this for purposes other than terrorism. They may also keep this data for a short period of time.

After the attack on Charlie Hebdo's January 2015 editors, border controls have only become sharper. Bernard Cazeneuve, the French Foreign Minister, convened ten European ministers and US Minister Eric Holder in Paris in January 2015 to discuss how countries can work better together to fight terrorism. From this discussion it emerged that the ministers set two goals, being the travel of radicalised people or terrorists must be limited, and the fact that people radicalise must be prevented. To achieve these goals, the ministers want to take a number of policies. One of them is to share more information about foreign warriors. They also want to block money flows to terrorist groups and terrorists. In addition, a European Passenger Name Register must be set up to record all air travel from people. Europol reports the content submitted by the Member States to the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments annually.


Meanwhile biometric features have been included in all passports of the Member States. Here you can think of fingerprints and a face shot. The rules against the use of explosives have also been drastically sharpened. In 2008, the Commission forced all manufacturers, dealers and users of explosives to tighten their inventory records. Taking these measures would make it easier to trace lost or stolen explosives. Also, in 2012 all rules for the raw materials in which explosives existed were tightened. The European Commission adopted a whole package of measures against terrorism in 2007. One of these measures is the ban on the training and recruitment of terrorists and the call for terror throughout the European Union. An additional directive has also been proposed, such as following offenses against terrorist training and terrorist offenses. Just like giving help in preparatory acts and financing of terrorism. There were a number of weaknesses in the law in the field of firearms and firearms in June. The JHA Council has revised and sharpened these guidelines. Mainly in the field of checking firearms, improving traceability of weapons and stricter regulations on the purchase of weapons. Furthermore, EU Member States will also exchange more information.


The European Commission's three-year programme (Instrument for Stability 2009-2011) has set it up for furthering terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This plan focused mainly on Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Sahel region. This plan also includes measures to address the risk of piracy at sea and organised crime in drug and arms smuggling.

Cooperation with other organisations NATO

After the attacks of 11 September 2001, NATO declared war on international terrorism. Also called 'war on terror'. Since then, NATO Member States have exchanged information from systems of the secret services. At the time, NATO was also a large-scale military operation in Afghanistan. The delivered troops came from the Netherlands and Germany, among others.