Sunday

23rd Jul 2017

Germany proposes new anti-terror laws

  • Germany's interior minister (r) wants the new proposals rapidly implemented (Photo: Wiesbaden112.de)

Germany is toughening up security laws, in a broader effort to crack down on terrorism, following a recent spate of deadly attacks.

On Thursday (11 August), Germany's interior minister Thomas de Maiziere unveiled a raft of anti-terror proposals.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

“I am convinced that these proposals will increase security quickly," he told reporters in Berlin.

The new measures include stripping German citizenship from dual-nationals caught fighting alongside extremist militant groups abroad.

Any plan to strip citizenship is likely to meet opposition from the centre-left social democrats (SPD) and the Greens, German media report .

De Maiziere also aims at adding more police and surveillance staff, criminalising the promotion of terrorism, and making it easier to deport migrants who commit crimes.

However, earlier ideas to slap a ban on full-face veil burqas have been shelved.

Instead, authorities will be granted access to search the social media accounts of refugees if they carry no passports or other identity cards.

De Maiziere said people seeking international protection often have no ID papers, but most often carry smartphones. The devices are crucial to refugees.

But de Maiziere said they also contain information that could reveal possible security threats.

“If you want to come to Germany, we have to make safety checks on you. And to make safety checks, we will ask you to show us your Facebook contacts from the last few months, which are public in principle anyway,” said de Maiziere.

Similar mobile device schemes are already up and running in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands, reports the Guardian newspaper.

He also announced plans to ease doctor patient confidentiality, a move that drew sharp rebuke from the German Medical Association.

Meanwhile, any migrant seen as "endangering public safety" can now be kicked out of the country.

"In this way, we will in future increasingly use the instrument of deportation for foreign criminals and people likely to pose a threat," de Maiziere is quoted as saying in Deutsche Welle.

The proposals, set to become law before the end of the year, comes in the wake of a knife attack in Wuerzburg and a suicide bombing in Ansbach last month. Both were claimed by the Islamic State.

A German-Iranian in Munich had also gone on a shooting rampage and a Syrian asylum seeker had stabbed to death a Polish woman in Reutlingen. Neither incident was linked to Islamic State but have instead spooked a Germany that last year granted asylum to over one million people.

Germany reels after multiple killings

Support for Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel remains high, but the weekend's multiple attacks against civilians have left German society in shock.

Merkel faces backlash over Berlin attack

The German chancellor says Monday's deadly crash at a Christmas market was a terrorist attack, but calls for calm. Her critics are already blaming her refugee policy.

Italy's 'nuclear option' on migrants unravels

Media has reported that Italy may issue visas to migrants to allow them to travel further north. But the plan is unlikely to work due to EU rules underpinning such decisions.

Austria readies for migrant border surge

Foreign ministers in Brussels agreed to toughen up measures against Libyan migrant smugglers amid Austrian claims it is ready to "protect" its borders from any sudden mass migrant movements from Italy.

EU backs Italy on NGO rescues

The European Commission has said that the EU and Italy merely want to “better organise” migrant rescues in the Central Mediterranean.

EU to scale back Greek asylum aid

The Greek government is set to take over running services provided by EU-funded NGOs for stranded migrants and asylum seekers in August. The lack of clarity and state plans for the transition is raising alarm.

Austria readies for migrant border surge

Foreign ministers in Brussels agreed to toughen up measures against Libyan migrant smugglers amid Austrian claims it is ready to "protect" its borders from any sudden mass migrant movements from Italy.

EU backs Italy on NGO rescues

The European Commission has said that the EU and Italy merely want to “better organise” migrant rescues in the Central Mediterranean.

News in Brief

  1. Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform
  2. GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017
  3. Slovak PM threatens to boycott inferior food
  4. France takes Google's 'right to be forgotten' to EU court
  5. Turkey accuses German companies of supporting terror
  6. Israel's Netanyahu caught calling EU 'crazy'
  7. UK does not collect enough data to expel EU nationals
  8. Polish president threatens to veto justice reform

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  2. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  3. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  5. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  6. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  9. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  10. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEuFoA Director and MEPs Comment on the Recent Conflict Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
  12. EU2017EEEstonian Presidency Kicks off Youth Programme With Coding Summer School

Latest News

  1. Dutch coalition talks lengthiest in 40 years
  2. Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU
  3. EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions
  4. Law expert: direct EU powers have become too complicated
  5. Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive
  6. Mafia money pollutes the EU economy
  7. Central Europe should be wary of Brexit stopping
  8. Poland's 'July coup' and what it means for the judiciary