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EU Moves On Terror

  • September 12th, 2011
  • Posted by EUA Editor

madrid-train-bomb.jpegThe European Union has marked the “nine-eleven” anniversary in America, reviewing its own counter-terrorism measures and affirming opposition to all acts of terror – “be it right or left wing extremist, separatist, or Al Qaeda-related terrorism.”

nine-eleven-towers.jpg“Ten years after the 9/11 attacks … we in Europe continue to work hard to put into effect the global strategy to combat terrorism agreed in 2006”, said Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

“We are striving both to eliminate the threat of terror and to address its causes.

ashton_headshot1.jpg“That is why we support all those who promote democracy and development around the world.”

She was anticipating  agreement on additional “key actions to further enhance international cooperation in the fight against terrorism”, at a United Nations Symposium on Counter-Terrorism, and Global Counter-Terrorism Forum in New York next month.

European leaders had stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States after the attacks on New York and Washington o n 11.9.01, and reaffirmed worldwide solidarity after the attacks that followed in Madrid, London, Bali, Mumbai and elsewhere.

The EU opposed terror regardless of motivation, and had identified it as one of the biggest threats facing Europe, in 2005 putting in place its own Counter-Terrorism Strategy, ahead of a wider set of international agreements the following year.

See,, (11.9.11).

That strategy commits the Union to combating terrorism while respecting human rights, built around four strands:

•    PREVENT people from turning to terrorism and stop future generations of terrorists from emerging
•    PROTECT citizens and critical infrastructure by reducing vulnerabilities against attacks
•    PURSUE and investigate terrorists, impede planning, travel and communications, cut off access to funding and materials and bring terrorists to justice
•    RESPOND in a coordinated way by preparing for the management and minimisation of the consequences of a terrorist attack, improving capacities to deal with the aftermath and taking into account the needs of victims.

A statement from the European Commission on the weekend said the program was accompanied by separate strategies on radicalisation, recruitment, terrorism financing, and media communication.

“These actions have made it easier for EU countries to apply criminal law procedures to terrorism;   they have also ensured that recruitment and propaganda tools are not easily available to terrorist groups”, it said.

“More recently, the EUROPOL ‘First Responders Network’ was used for the first time, following the shootings in Norway last August — and on 9 September, a Radicalisation Awareness Network was launched.”

Other initiatives have included intensifying transport security, carrying out strategic intelligence assessments of the terrorist threats, and sharing data.


European Union, Brussels, “Statement by President Barroso and President Van Rompuy: ‘The 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the United States’”; “The EU and terrorism”; “EU external action and the fight against terrorism”; “Commission boosts efforts to counter violent extremism”., (11.9.11).


Train bombing in Madrid, 2004,