The new European Parliament Committee on Terrorism (TERR), initiated by the EPP Group, met for the first time today. It will have one year to assess how counter-terrorism policies and tools can be improved at European level.
Arnaud Danjean MEP, who was elected as the EPP Group Spokesman in the committee, explained the main goals it should pursue in the upcoming year: “As European countries have been repeatedly targeted by jihadist terrorism over the last few years, our citizens are asking all European intelligence and law enforcement institutions for deeper and more efficient cooperation. Even if we are well aware that a system without risks does not exist, we have to address this urgent and legitimate demand. This is why the special committee will have to look thoroughly at what can be done better at European level to tackle this lasting and devastating threat.”
Describing the tasks of the committee, Jeroen Lenaers MEP, Vice-Chairman of the committee, said: “The EPP Group has been at the forefront in addressing the difficult internal security situation in Europe. Much has been done to prevent the immediate dangers, but thorough examination is necessary to finish the job we set ourselves. Within the work in the Terrorism Committee, we will need to look closely at how judicial, police and intelligence information is shared between the Member States in practice. If, and where this is going wrong, and why. We will also have to understand how the EU agencies and interconnected information databases support Member States to counter and prevent terrorism and whether this is sufficient. Last but not least, we need to make sure that root causes of terrorism such as radicalisation and terrorism financing are properly addressed. European security is as strong as its foundations, made up by the Member States and reinforced by the EU.”
The European Parliament decided to set up the committee on the initiative of the EPP, ECR and ALDE Groups in July. It will be permitted to make use of fact-finding missions, in camera meetings and access to confidential documents. The committee must provide the Parliament with two reports containing factual findings and recommendations concerning the measures and initiatives to be taken in the area of preventing terrorism within the next 12 months.