Saturday

19th Oct 2019

EU steps up global counter-terrorism drive

  • EU foreign policy chief Mogherini (c) wants to expand the network of counter-terrorism experts abroad. (Photo: European Union)

The EU is stepping up counter-terrorism efforts by sending more staff to its delegations abroad.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters in Luxembourg on Monday (19 June) that she is expanding a network of counter-terrorist experts at EU embassies.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

She said the focus will be on EU delegations found in the Middle East, North Africa, the Western Balkans, Turkey, the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, and the Gulf.

"This is work that we will continue to do together with the member states," she said.

The decision followed a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday as part of a broader security and defence initiative.

The ministers described terrorism as one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.

"The EU has a vital interest in continuing to work with partners at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels," they said in a statement.

It means more counter-terrorism projects and financial support for counter-terrorism programmes in the countries.

Mogherini had already announced earlier this month that the EU would provide €50 million for a joint Shaelian military force, which is composed of troops from Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad.

The French-led initiative, also known as the G5 Sahel Joint Force, is already sending the EU a wish list of items to manage security in the region.

"Their main task is to have a common police to work on the borders and work together. They haven't decided yet if they want a joint brigade," a senior EU official told EUobserver last week.

The same official noted that the plan is also to allow troops of one country to cross over the border of another, in cases where there is a pursuit.

EU money is also going to finance the counter-terrorism training of security forces in the region under the so-called Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions.

Linking internal security to foreign affairs

Countering terrorism is part of wider policy, which is increasingly merging the work of foreign affairs ministries with that of their interior and home affair counterparts.

EU and member states are piling on the pressure for big internet firms to remove online content that is deemed to incite violence or terrorism.

The issue will be a priority talking point among EU leaders at a summit this Thursday and Friday in Brussels.

Draft summit conclusions, seen by EUobserver, emphasise stepping up internal security against terrorism by cracking down "on the spread of radicalisation online."

The leaders are pushing for the firms to come up with new tools to automatically remove the offending content.

Security and defence to top EU summit

Pressure is mounting for social media platforms to remove any online content deemed to incite terrorism. Draft conclusions, seen by EUobserver, have made the issue a top priority in leaders' talks next week.

EU wary over Ukraine weapons in South Sudan

Ukraine, which had signed an EU arms embargo on South Sudan, has since sold attack helicopters used by the government forces in Juba against civilians and hospitals.

EU to crack down on art-funded terrorism

The EU executive has presented measures to crack down on the traffic of cultural goods as part of an effort to cut funding to terrorist groups.

Radicalised Islamists pose-long term EU threat

Low-cost terror attacks that are difficult to prevent remain a threat for years to come given the number of radicalised Islamic militants in Europe, expert says.

News in Brief

  1. Macron: Nato's inability to react to Turkey a 'mistake'
  2. EU: US can expect counter measures after tariff move
  3. Almost 7,500 people forcibly returned to Libya in 2019
  4. Puigdemont released after responding to arrest warrant
  5. Commission: Facebook's Libra needs international approach
  6. Italian PM: denial of accession talks a 'historic mistake'
  7. Catalan president blames clashes on 'infiltrators'
  8. US imposes €6.7bn new tariffs on European products

Column

These are the crunch issues for the 2019-2024 EU commission

These developments will largely determine who will be running the world in the coming decades and perhaps generations. If the Europeans can't find an answer over the five years, they will be toast. And we haven't even mentioned climate change.

Opinion

Time to pay attention to Belarus

Belarus may be hosting the European Games, but Vladimir Putin is not playing games when it comes to Belarus' independence. The West needs to get serious as well.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  2. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  3. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  4. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  6. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  10. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  12. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us