Monday

25th Oct 2021

Anti-terror tsar urges EU states to implement laws

  • Gijs de Vries: "Europe is capable of overcoming its complexity" (Photo: European Commission)

In an interview with Le Monde on Tuesday (18 May), the EU's anti-terror co-ordinator Gijs de Vries has urged EU member states to better implement existing anti-terrorism laws, stressing the "high risk" of a terrorist attack in Europe.

"The risk of terrorist attacks remains high, the EU is vulnerable", said Dutchman Mr de Vries, who was appointed last March by EU member states.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Mr de Vries, who works directly under the EU Foreign and Security Chief Javier Solana, will present concrete political and legislative proposals to the European Council of 17 and 18 June.

The implementation of existing anti-terrorism legislation will be a key priority in these proposals, he told Le Monde.

His main concern is to "fill the gap between the adopted legislation and its translation into facts".

Ratification of old UN conventions missing

The implementation gap is not confined to the EU's anti-terrorism laws following the attacks of 11 September - such as the common EU arrest warrant. It includes some more than 20-year old United Nations anti-terrorism conventions which have not been ratified by EU states.

Eight UN texts concerning for example the financing of terrorism, naval security and the fabrication of explosives have not been ratified by all EU member countries, Mr de Vries complained.

Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg show the worst record.

Better intelligence sharing

Mr de Vries further hinted at plans to encourage EU member states to co-operate more closely in the field of intelligence sharing.

The Dutchman stated: "Terrorists themselves are not concerned with national borders and we have to improve our information gathering which currently takes place in more or less separated circuits."

He added, "We are more effective when working together, that is evident in the eyes of the citizens, who do not distinguish between the institutions".

"Europe is capable of overcoming its complexity".

The European Council of 17-18 June will be followed by an EU-US summit on 25-26 June in Dublin.

Terrorism promises to be the "the main point on the agenda of that meeting", Mr de Vries said.

Frontex chief: 'about time' MEPs probe his agency

Some 14 MEPs have created a group to probe allegations of rights abuse by the EU's border agency Frontex. Its head, Fabrice Leggeri, welcomed its creation and said it "is about time".

Romania denies forcing migrant-boat back to Turkish waters

Romania's ministry of internal affairs wrote to Frontex claiming it did not engage in any illegal pushbacks of people on rubber boats into Turkish territorial waters. The country says it followed EU engagement rules and Greek orders.

LGBTI fears over new Polish member at EU institution

A letter sent to the European Economic and Social Committee by a group of cross-party MEPs fighting for LGBTi rights expresses fears that a recently-appointed Polish member may try to undermine those rights.

EU condemns Slovenian PM's harassment of journalist

Slovenia's populist prime minister Janez Janša attempted to discredit a Brussels reporter after she published a critical article about the state of media freedoms in the country. The European Commission condemned the PM's language - but refrained from naming him.

News in Brief

  1. Timmermans cancels Moscow visit ahead of COP26
  2. Report: EU to open new mission in Kabul
  3. Bulgaria and Romania run out of beds for Covid-patients
  4. Afghanistan 'on brink of collapse', Sweden warns
  5. Far-right vigilantes stopped on Polish-German border
  6. Croatian right-wingers seek euro referendum
  7. Orbán accuses EU and US of election meddling
  8. Militants free international observers in Russia-occupied Ukraine

Feature

Covid-hit homeless find Xmas relief at Brussels food centre

The Kamiano food distribution centre in Brussels is expecting 20 people every half hour on Christmas Day. For many, Kamiano is also more than that - a support system for those made homeless or impoverished.

Top court finds Hungary and Poland broke EU rules

EU tribunal said Hungary's legislation made it "virtually impossible" to make an asylum application. Restricting access to international protection procedure is a violation of EU rules.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew report reveals bad environmental habits
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersImproving the integration of young refugees
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals

Latest News

  1. Erdoğan orders out US and EU ambassadors
  2. EU banks play 'major role' in deforestation, report finds
  3. NGOs reveal 71 'revolving-door' cases at fossil-fuel giants
  4. Energy and gender in EU focus This WEEK
  5. Nato invite sees Nordic states stepping up security cooperation
  6. Lessons for the EU in Sahel, from Afghanistan
  7. EU states want more Belarus sanctions
  8. Gas price spike exposes rift at EU summit

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us