Monday

27th May 2019

Nine EU states to increase train security

  • Germany: 'We don’t want complete, comprehensive checks on people or luggage ... in Germany or Europe' (Photo: Arjan Eising)

Nine Western European countries decided Saturday (29 August) to increase ad-hoc checks of train passengers' identities and luggage.

But the experience of travelling by train in Europe is to remain largely unchanged.

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

“We can’t do and don’t want complete, comprehensive checks on people or luggage in trains in Germany or Europe", Germany's interior minister Thomas de Maiziere said, according to Associated Press.

De Maiziere and several transport and security ministers met in Paris eight days after the failed attack on a Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris.

Representatives from Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the UK, as well as the European Commission, attended the meeting.

They decided identity checks of passengers, as well as luggage checks on stations and trains will increase “where it is necessary”, according to a statement released by French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

The statement did not specify what constitutes "necessary".

“Mixed patrols, made up of law enforcement personnel from several countries, already exist in many countries. We will further reinforce these teams and deploy them more extensively,” the statement said.

The officials also decided to assess what the consequences would be of making it obligatory for international train tickets to be registered using the name of the passenger.

However, despite calls for increased security after a Moroccan gunman boarded an international train carrying an automatic rifle and a handgun, there is reluctance to make train security checks match those of air travel.

“The security and safety of passengers is our first priority. But of course we must not overreact”, EU transport commissioner Violeta Bulc said in a press release.

“It is essential that, as far as possible, public transport remains open and easily accessible. Security must be proportionate to the threat".

EU transport ministers will discuss train safety again when they meet in October.

Train scare prompts talks on EU security

The European Commission won't rule out proposing new legislation after transport ministers in October meet to discuss security after a gunman boarded a Thalys trained armed with an assault rifle.

Europol busts global cybercrime gang

A loose network of cyber criminals recruited from an online Russian forum managed to infect thousands of computers in an effort to steal online banking credentials. The gang has been dismantled, with some now on the run.

Stalling on VAT reform costing billions, says Commission

German media outlet Correctiv, along with other newsrooms, have revealed how criminals annually cheat EU states out of billions in VAT fraud. The EU Commission says solutions exist - but member states refuse to budge on tax unanimity.

EU justice 'barometer' hindered by data gaps

Some member states continue to impede the European Commission's annual attempt to define the state of Europe's justice system, by not providing data on their national situations.

News in Brief

  1. Russia-critical banker elected president of Lithuania
  2. Timmermans calls for 'progressive alliance'
  3. Catalonia's Puigdemont wins MEP seat
  4. Weber opens door to alliance with greens and liberals
  5. Tsipras calls snap Greek election after EP defeat
  6. Polish ruling PiS takes lion's share of EU vote
  7. Romanian voters punish ruling PSD party
  8. First official EP projection: EPP remain top, Greens fourth

Opinion

A fundamental contradiction in EU drug policy

The knock-on affects from a 'war on drugs' in Europe is creating problems in Albania - and as far afield as Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Latest News

  1. Salvini triumphs in Italy
  2. After victory, Farage wants seat at Brexit talks
  3. Key takeaways from the European elections
  4. Populists' EU breakthrough fails, greens and liberals gain
  5. Jubilant Greens in party mood after first EP projection
  6. 2019 European election results
  7. Thunberg: We can still fix climate, but must start today
  8. Turnout up in Slovakia, with pro-EU liberals scoring high

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us