Thursday

19th Jul 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.

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.

... our join as a group

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”.

Schengen at stake in Austria-Germany talks

German interior minister Horst Seehofer is in Vienna on Thursday - as his plan to reject some asylum seekers was met by an Austrian threat to close its borders too.

Polish PM defends judicial witch-hunt

Poland's judicial purge was meant to punish former communists, its PM has said, in an angry EU debate that saw him ultimately promise to respect EU court rulings.

EU leaders still in search of migration plan

Select EU leaders met amid rising tension over migration, with Italy's PM, who had threatened to boycott the summit, putting forward a new plans to stop boats from leaving Libya.

Feature

EU and Turkey fight for 'lost generation'

Some 300,000 school-age Syrian children in Turkey are not enrolled in classes. Fears they may end up in sweatshops or forced to beg have triggered efforts by the EU, Unicef, and the Turkish government to keep them in school.

News in Brief

  1. Trump threatens EU over Google fine
  2. Spain withdraws arrest warrant for Catalan separatists
  3. EU readies counter-measures on possible US car tariffs
  4. EU Commission launches probe into Hungary's 'Stop Soros' law
  5. EU warns Turkey on anti-terror bill
  6. Report: EU secretly scorns UK's Brexit paper
  7. Hungary: UN treaty could 'inspire millions' of migrants
  8. Nato reacts after Trump disparages Montenegro

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  2. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  4. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  6. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  8. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  9. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future
  12. ACCAEmpowering Businesses to Engage with Sustainable Finance and the SDGs

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us