EU strengthens anti-terror legislation
by Roni Alasor
Brussels, 5 July 2016 - Middle East Diplomatic (MED) - EU Parliament`s Civil Liberties Committee voted in favour of criminalising in all EU Member States the planning of terror acts, including travelling abroad for terrorist purposes, training or being trained, incitement to terrorism or financing of terrorist activities.
The amendments, prepared by MEP Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, Germany) were passed in the Civil Liberties Committee with 41 votes for, 10 votes against and 4 abstentions.
The vote took place ahead of the upcoming talks with the Council on the Commission proposal for a new counter-terrorism directive, launched after the Paris attacks in November 2015. The directive is expected to be a key tool in the joint fight against terrorism in EU.
According a press release from EPP, the largest political group in the EU Parliament, The European Parliament’s Chief Negotiator Monika Hohlmeier MEP will now start talks with the EU Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs in earnest to finalise this very important EU Directive.
Monika Hohlmeier MEP said: “This new piece of legislation will tackle terrorism training, internet propaganda, the misuse of the internet for terrorist purposes and the financial support for terrorist networks.”
At the same time, the proposal strikes the right balance between security on the one hand and data protection and freedom of expression on the other: “We want to protect our citizens from these barbaric acts but we also want to respect the principles of human rights”, she stressed.
This counter-terrorism proposal also covers EU nationals who travel to conflict zones like Syria for terrorism purposes and return back to Europe. It covers EU nationals travelling from one EU country to another EU country for terrorist purposes, and also offences such as training, recruiting and financing terrorism. Monika Hohlmeier insisted on including the exchange of information/intelligence among EU countries, on covering those offences more accurately when committed on the internet, and on strengthening victims` rights.