The EPP Group wants to ensure that Member States share information, terrorism financing is blocked, and victims and their families are protected, among other priorities. In the past few years, we have seen positive developments in these regards, but there are still ways how to make this fight more efficient. This is the message being sent by the findings and, more importantly, the recommendations adopted by the European Parliament's Special Committee on Terrorism yesterday evening.
The report includes a number of recommendations to ensure that data in the possession of Member States is exchanged with the other Member States and relevant EU agencies and bodies, especially Europol. Monika Hohlmeier MEP, the author of the committee’s final report, said: “To step up prevention and investigation of attacks, Europol needs to work with fully interoperable data to guarantee the automatic flow of essential information between Member States. This will also be addressed through new EU legislation setting minimum data retention periods for the work of investigating and prosecuting authorities.”
The second significant area in the report is that of addressing the financing of terrorism both within and outside of Europe. Such a challenge could be addressed through a common EU Terrorist Financing Tracking System. “This would track down suspicious money transfers by people linked to terrorism. Authorities need to be aware of all suspicious money transfers, and this is why we need to provide them with the necessary instruments”, Monika Hohlmeier said.
Hohlmeier also spoke about the importance of protecting victims. “Standard care and compensation must be guaranteed for victims and their families across the EU. This is why we need a single EU legislation on their rights.”
Arnaud Danjean MEP, the EPP Group Spokesman in the Terrorism Committee, added: “The goal of the EPP Group was to put forward concrete proposals to fulfil the right of security for European citizens, and to help counter-terrorism professionals in developing the best legal and operational instruments to protect us. We want to avoid slogans and illusionary measures that will never be implemented. Instead, we brought realistic proposals, combining better prevention of radicalisation, tougher legal instruments and wider, efficient interoperability between law enforcement and intelligence agencies across Europe.”
The European Parliament set up the Terrorism Committee on the initiative of the EPP, ECR and ALDE Groups in July 2017. The Committee organised a number of fact-finding missions and hearings with experts in order to present a report containing measures and initiatives to be taken in the area of terrorism prevention. The report will be voted on in the Plenary in December.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 219 Members from 28 Member States