Monday

30th Mar 2020

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 20 years of archives. 14-day 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.

Opinion

Trump's 'plan' for Israel will go against EU values

As someone who has been personally targeted by Benjamin Netanyahu's incitement against Arabs and Palestinians, Christians, Muslims and Druze, I still believe that peace is possible. But Donald Trump's 'plan' will be a gift to Netanyahu's campaign.

China spy suspect worked for EU for 30 years

The former EU ambassador suspected by German prosecutors of spying for China was Gerhard Sabathil, according to EU officials speaking on condition of anonymity.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAMaking Europe’s Economy Circular – the time is now
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  3. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  4. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms

Latest News

  1. EU struggles to remain united This WEEK
  2. How Europe coped with pandemic 100 years ago
  3. Coronavirus crisis deepens, but solidarity booms
  4. Romania: Inside the EU's worst healthcare system, as virus hits
  5. Pandemic is time to recognise gig economy workers' rights
  6. EU doctors: bring refugees on Greek islands to safety
  7. Russia's top coronavirus 'fake news' stories
  8. WHO warning on lockdown mental health

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us