Monday

18th Mar 2019

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.

... or 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”.

Orban rejects Weber's plea to stop anti-EU posters

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban has pledged to put up new anti-migrant posters - despite hopes in his centre-right EU family that he might "apologise and put an end" to the campaign.

News in Brief

  1. Third Brexit vote this week only if DUP will support it
  2. Germany's two largest banks confirm merger talks
  3. Serbian pro-democracy protests reach 15th week
  4. 'Yellow Vest' riots leave Paris shops vandalised
  5. European woman older when having first baby
  6. Majority of Germans want Merkel to stay on
  7. Asylum applications in the EU down to 580,800 in 2018
  8. Children's climate school strikes turn global on Friday

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  2. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  3. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  6. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  11. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  12. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us