Tuesday

20th Feb 2018

EU targets foreign fighters with sanctions

The European Union will from now on be able to freeze assets and impose travel bans on people associated with the Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaida jihadist groups, even if they are not on UN blacklists.

The move, agreed by the Council on Tuesday (20 September), is primarily targeted against EU nationals.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

In particular, people trying to travel to Syria could be stopped from leaving in the first place, or from coming back to another EU country besides than the one they hold the passport of. It will also become easier for EU countries to prosecute their own nationals for terrorist-related activities.

Non-EU nationals with links to Islamic terrorism will be barred from entering the bloc. Their assets in the EU will be frozen, and it will become illegal for EU persons and entities to send them money.

Those who qualify for the restrictive measures are people who participated in the planning or perpetrating of terrorist attacks or received terrorist training from IS and Al-Qaida.

People can be listed for providing the Islamic organisations with financing, oil or arms; recruiting their members directly or through public provocations and activities in support of these organisations.

In a separate area of the new law, serious abuses of human rights outside the EU, including abduction, rape, sexual violence, forced marriage and enslavement of persons, could also put individuals and entities on the list.

The bloc set up its terrorist list after the 9/11 attacks, but until now, sanctions could only be imposed on people who were on the UN blacklist. EU countries could also create national lists.

No one individual was put under sanctions on Tuesday.

Europol estimates that more than 5,000 EU nationals have travelled to Syria. One third of them have since returned, and some 14 percent have been confirmed as having been killed.

The move to step up sanctions was driven by France.

France is the country which has the largest number of departures - 2,147 French nationals or residents have left for Syria, according to figures presented by prime minister Manuel Valls in July.

EU women swell ranks of Islamic State

European women have gone to join jihadist groups in the Middle East in greater numbers than previously thought, with their children at risk of becoming “the next generation of foreign terrorist”.

Greek EU commissioner challenges bribery allegations

Dimitris Avramopoulos says he will mount a legal challenge to reveal the identities of people behind allegations that he, along with other former Greek ministers, had accepted money from a Swiss pharmaceutical giant.

Rights watchdog to visit Turkey over rule of law

The Strasbourg-based human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, is heading to Ankara next week. The trip follows new plans by Ankara to meet EU demands for reforms in areas like anti-terror legislation.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  2. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  4. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  5. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  6. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  8. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  9. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name
  10. Dialogue PlatformBeyond the Errors in the War on Terror: How to Fight Global Militarism - 22 February
  11. Swedish EnterprisesHarnessing Globalization- at What Cost? Keynote Speaker Commissioner Malmström
  12. European Friends of ArmeniaSave The Date 28/02: “Nagorno-Karabakh & the EU: 1988-2018”

Latest News

  1. EU taxpayers risk bailing out MEP pension scheme
  2. Commissioner Katainen confirms Barroso lobbied him
  3. Eurogroup chief pledge on transparency after meeting MPs
  4. Poland shows no sign of concessions to Commission
  5. Spain's De Guindos to be ECB vice-president
  6. Conservative 'buccaneering Brexit' narrative unrealistic
  7. MPs demand Council become more transparent
  8. Eurogroup starts process to pick new ECB chiefs