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15th Dec 2019

EU states told to speed up anti-terror measures

  • "The speed of implementation has increased but not yet to the level where we would like it to be" (Photo: European Commission)

EU member states have once again been berated for not implementing EU anti-terror laws.

Anti-terrorism co-ordinator Gijs de Vries, speaking in Luxembourg on Tuesday (8 June) at a meeting of EU justice and home affairs ministers, criticised member states for being "not yet quick enough" at putting legislation into place.

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A declaration adopted by EU states last March set June as a deadline for the implementation of a raft of anti-terror measures - but despite the terror attacks in Madrid in March, governments have been very slow to make good their promises.

List

In a bid to step up the pressure, ministers were presented with a list naming and shaming member states for failing to implement measures listed in the declaration.

"The speed of implementation has increased but not yet to the level where we would like it to be", Mr de Vries said.

Seven EU member states have still not implemented the European Arrest Warrant, although the 'old' EU 15 had to do it by 31 December 2003 and the 'new' member states by 1 May.

The deadline for the EU warrant and a number of other pieces of legislation was subsequently pushed to the end of June.

However, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Malta and Slovakia have not yet adopted the Warrant, with Estonia saying it will implement it by 1 July and Slovakia by 1 August.

Germany, on the other hand, said that it expects the final decision to be taken at the latest on 18 June.

There have also been implementation delays on specific measures for police and judicial co-operation, on combating terrorism and on money laundering.

"I regret the fact that the arrangements agreed in relation to criminal matters have, for the time being, only been implemented to a limited extent", French Justice Minister Dominique Perben said in a letter to Justice Minister Michael McDowell.

"In particular, implementation of the European arrest warrant is behind schedule. What is more, not enough use is being made of the organisation Eurojust".

An EU plan of action on combating terrorism, stretching across the three incoming EU presidencies – the Dutch, Luxembourg and the British – was also presented to the EU ministers.

This plan sets out deadlines for the Commission to present its proposals, and for the Council to adopt the measures over the upcoming 18 months.

Pressure mounts to grill Malta's Muscat at EU summit

The Dutch prime minister and figures from the European Parliament are both piling on pressure for leaders at the EU summit to discuss the rule of law in Malta, as the presence of the island-nation's prime minister draws protests.

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