Thursday

30th Jun 2022

EU steps up global counter-terrorism drive

  • EU foreign policy chief Mogherini (c) wants to expand the network of counter-terrorism experts abroad. (Photo: European Union)

The EU is stepping up counter-terrorism efforts by sending more staff to its delegations abroad.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters in Luxembourg on Monday (19 June) that she is expanding a network of counter-terrorist experts at EU embassies.

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

She said the focus will be on EU delegations found in the Middle East, North Africa, the Western Balkans, Turkey, the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, and the Gulf.

"This is work that we will continue to do together with the member states," she said.

The decision followed a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday as part of a broader security and defence initiative.

The ministers described terrorism as one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.

"The EU has a vital interest in continuing to work with partners at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels," they said in a statement.

It means more counter-terrorism projects and financial support for counter-terrorism programmes in the countries.

Mogherini had already announced earlier this month that the EU would provide €50 million for a joint Shaelian military force, which is composed of troops from Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad.

The French-led initiative, also known as the G5 Sahel Joint Force, is already sending the EU a wish list of items to manage security in the region.

"Their main task is to have a common police to work on the borders and work together. They haven't decided yet if they want a joint brigade," a senior EU official told EUobserver last week.

The same official noted that the plan is also to allow troops of one country to cross over the border of another, in cases where there is a pursuit.

EU money is also going to finance the counter-terrorism training of security forces in the region under the so-called Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions.

Linking internal security to foreign affairs

Countering terrorism is part of wider policy, which is increasingly merging the work of foreign affairs ministries with that of their interior and home affair counterparts.

EU and member states are piling on the pressure for big internet firms to remove online content that is deemed to incite violence or terrorism.

The issue will be a priority talking point among EU leaders at a summit this Thursday and Friday in Brussels.

Draft summit conclusions, seen by EUobserver, emphasise stepping up internal security against terrorism by cracking down "on the spread of radicalisation online."

The leaders are pushing for the firms to come up with new tools to automatically remove the offending content.

Security and defence to top EU summit

Pressure is mounting for social media platforms to remove any online content deemed to incite terrorism. Draft conclusions, seen by EUobserver, have made the issue a top priority in leaders' talks next week.

EU wary over Ukraine weapons in South Sudan

Ukraine, which had signed an EU arms embargo on South Sudan, has since sold attack helicopters used by the government forces in Juba against civilians and hospitals.

EU-Sahel talks next week amid 'unprecedented attacks'

Officials from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger are meeting EU foreign, defence, and development ministers next week in Brussels. The visit comes amid "unprecedented levels" of armed attacks, says the UN.

Radicalised Islamists pose-long term EU threat

Low-cost terror attacks that are difficult to prevent remain a threat for years to come given the number of radicalised Islamic militants in Europe, expert says.

Column

One rubicon after another

We realise that we are living in one of those key moments in history, with events unfolding exactly the way Swiss art historian Jacob Burckhardt describes them: a sudden crisis, rushing everything into overdrive.

News in Brief

  1. EU announces trade deal with New Zealand
  2. Russia threatens Norway over goods transit
  3. Russia urges Nato not to build bases in Sweden, Finland
  4. New president for European Committee of the Regions
  5. Gas flows from Spain to Morocco, after Western Sahara row
  6. BioNTech, Pfizer test 'universal' coronavirus vaccine
  7. UK sanctions second-richest Russian businessman
  8. Hungary permits emergency supervision of energy firms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  3. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  5. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBHow price increases affect construction workers

Latest News

  1. Israel smeared Palestinian activists, EU admits
  2. MEPs boycott awards over controversial sponsorship
  3. If Russia collapses — which states will break away?
  4. EU Parliament interpreters stage strike
  5. EU's post-Covid billions flowing into black hole
  6. Nato expands and reinforces on Russian flank
  7. EU Commission says it cannot find messages with Pfizer CEO
  8. EU ministers sign off on climate laws amid German infighting

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us