Friday

23rd Feb 2018

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 for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  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.

Libya return demand triggers reintegration headaches

The UN migration agency (IOM) had planned to help return and reintegrate 5,000 people from Libya to their home countries, but ended up aiding 20,000 in 2017. The extra demand has piled on the pressure.

Frontex naval operation to look for 'foreign fighters'

The EU border and coast guard agency, or Frontex, has launched a new naval operation called Themis. The operation replaces its surveillance Triton mission but with a bigger emphasis on security and intelligence gathering.

Uproar at Belgian bill letting police raid homes for migrants

A Belgian government proposal to crack down on migrants ordered to leave the country has sparked heated debates, as the bill allows police to raid and search people's homes. The bill has also now provoked a backlash from judges.

Frontex naval operation to look for 'foreign fighters'

The EU border and coast guard agency, or Frontex, has launched a new naval operation called Themis. The operation replaces its surveillance Triton mission but with a bigger emphasis on security and intelligence gathering.

News in Brief

  1. EU calls for immediate ceasefire in Syria
  2. UK's post-Brexit vision is 'pure illusion', Tusk says
  3. EU leaders express solidarity with Cyprus in Turkey drill row
  4. EU to double funding for Sahel forces
  5. EU parliament president: 'The immigration problem is Africa'
  6. May to unveil EU departure strategy next week
  7. Pregnant workers may be dismissed, EU court rules
  8. Romanian minister demands anti-corruption prosecutor fired

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ILGA EuropeAnkara Ban on LGBTI Events Continues as Turkish Courts Reject NGO Appeals
  2. Aid & Trade LondonJoin Thousands of Stakeholders of the Global Aid Industry at Aid & Trade London
  3. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.European Free Alliance Joins MHRMI to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  5. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  6. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  8. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  9. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  11. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  12. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name

Latest News

  1. Regions chief: calls for smaller EU budget are 'impossible'
  2. Election fever picks up This WEEK
  3. EU-Morocco fishing deal casts doubt on EU future foreign policy
  4. EU leaders put 'Spitzenkandidat' on summit menu
  5. European far-right political party risks collapse
  6. The key budget issues on EU leaders' table
  7. EU leaders to kick off post-Brexit budget debate
  8. Greek government's steady steps to exit bailout programme