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19th Jan 2020

Solana unveils plans to analyse EU terror threats

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana today unveiled proposals to analyse terror threats within the EU.

In the proposal, presented to EU justice and home affairs ministers in Luxembourg on Tuesday (8 June), Mr Solana suggests expanding the tasks of the EU situation centre, Sitcen, which currently only analyses threats outside the EU, to also look into threats inside the EU bloc.

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"It's the first step, but very important", Mr Solana said.

He also proposed that the already existing Counter Terrorism Group should hold regular meetings - at the level of heads of security agencies in the member states.

The plan's aim is to enable analysis of threats and the sharing of information at the level of all the 25 EU states and follows the Madrid terrorist attacks in March which highlighted the need to improve co-operation between police, security and intelligence services.

The EU’s anti-terrorism co-ordinator, Gijs de Vries, said that there is "an intensive programme underway of strengthening co-operation" of intelligence and security services of EU member states but added that the main responsibility for fighting terrorism lies in the hands of national governments.

"I think we should be careful that nobody gets the impression that suddenly Brussels is going to solve the problem of terrorism", Mr de Vries told journalists in Luxembourg.

"What the Union can do is to assist the national police forces and national security services, but the main responsibility remains firmly in the hands of national governments".

The proposals will now have to be approved by EU leaders meeting in Brussels at the end of next week.

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