Category Archives: Security

MEPs propose strategy to combat terrorism

xBased on a thorough assessment European Parliament sets out recommendations to tackle radicalisation, improve data exchange and support victims of terrorism.

In a non-legislative resolution adopted this week with 474 votes to 112 and 75 abstentions, Parliament suggests reinforcing the role of the EU agencies such as Europol and the European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT Systems (LISA).

MEPs also voice concerns over insufficient data exchange among the agencies, and between the member states and EU authorities. They underline the importance of fully respecting fundamental rights, including data protection and freedom of expression, when undertaking counter-terrorism measures.

““…Attack on the Christmas market in Strasbourg was an attack on European citizens and the common EU values and principles in the worst possible way. The incident has shown us again that we need to leave empty slogans and unrealistic measures behind and concentrate our activities on what really makes Europe safe. Despite all the efforts made over the past years, there are still gaps and ways to make the fight against terrorism more efficient. This means wider cooperation and information exchange between intelligence services and authorities, more prevention measures against radicalisation, tougher legal instruments and better protection of the rights of victims” – Following the vote, the co-rapporteur, Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE) said.

The terrorist attacks in the centre of Strasbourg, yesterday evening, highlight the imminent threat and absolute urgency of dealing better with this sad new reality. Today our report has been put to the vote in the same city, the seat of the European Parliament. Many innovative ideas have been proposed, such as the EU black list for hate preachers, allowing people renting cars to be cross-checked against police databases, and including private planes under the PNR Directive. We are recommending best practices, such as the local anti-radicalisation cells introduced in Belgium. And we put the victims at the forefront, by asking for medical costs to be automatically pre-paid after an attack and smoother insurance procedures. These are just a few examples from the comprehensive and poignant report “The co-rapporteur, Helga Stevens (ECR, BE), said.

Among Parliament’s main proposals:

  • Creating an EU watch list of radical preachers;
  • Stronger monitoring to ensure harmonised security and judicial prosecution of identified ‘returning fighters’ to Europe;
  • preclude convicted terrorist offenders from being granted asylum;
  • Anti-radicalisation measures, such as programmes for prisons, education and campaigns;
  • Specific training on radicalisation for EU and member states’ officials;
  • Strengthening EU’s external borders and proper checks at all border crossings using all relevant databases;
  • Demand for legal procedures to probe the praise of acts of terrorism;Removing printed or online propaganda explicitly inciting to violence;
  • call for continuity of EU-UK cooperation and information exchange;
  • Restricting knife-carrying and banning particularly harmful knives;
  • Inclusion of private planes under the PNR Directive;
  • European system of licences for specialised buyers of explosive precursors;
  • Urgent need for a common definition of ‘victim of terrorism’ at EU level;
  • Commission asked to create an EU Coordination Centre of victims of terrorism (CCVT) to provide crisis support and assistance in cases of attacks;
  • use the European Solidarity Fund to compensate victims of large-scale terror attacks; Closer cooperation with non-EU countries, especially neighbouring countries.”How a man, who was convicted 27 times, and known for 10 years for radicalisation, received only 5 years of prison, and ended freely perambulating around?!” asked a rhetoric question  in his Twitter mico rbolg MEP Nicolas Bay (Fr, ENF)  reflecting on the incident at Christmas market in Strasbourg. “This is unacceptable laxism on all the level, because it kills!.”https://twitter.com/NicolasBay_/status/1072839646822981634

ALERT! Strasbourg perpetrator at large

Strasbourg police asked inhabitants to stay inside, while the operation is ongoing. The perpetrator has been under police surveillance on list S. of radicalised individuals.

In issued press-release police explained the course of events in Strasbourg: “Around 20H, an individual entered the perimeter of the Christmas Market from the side of the birdge Corbeau and took the direction to the street des Orfèvres. The individual opened fire, wounding a number of people.

The provisional toll mounts up to 14 persons, among them 2 died, 6 seriously wounded,, and 6 lightly wounded.
“The point of reception of victims is installed at square Kléber(…
information concerning public transport in town, and lock down  of Neudorf sector…)

The perpetrator is on list S. – under surveillance for radicalisation  of French police. At the moment he is at large. The police operation is ongoing.

Strasbourg police issued an alert, asking citizens for cooperation, to follow police information, and stay inside (at home).

The radical change should come, because politics against terrorism is clearly failing“, tweeted Marine Le Pen in her micro blog, while expressing her condolences to the victims of the attack.

Once again list S for radicalisation! – wrote in his Twitter mico blog Nicolas Dupont-Aignan. –This new tragic attack reminds us about the total war the Islamic terrorists are waging against us. When, finally will we take measures to win it?”

AMENDEMENT:

French police have tracked down a gunman who shot 14 people in the center of Strasbourg, reportedly four of them died.

The gunman was identified as a 29-year old man from Strasbourg whose residence had been searched by police earlier in the day in connection with a robbery, two police sources said.

There is no official confirmation, but in French media the gunman is named as Chérif Chekatt.

Strasbourg Europarl in lock down after shooting

Europeans Parliament in lock down after Christmas market shooting in Strasbourg. Reported one dead and four injured. Details to follow.

AMENDNED: According to press reports there are two dead and 11 ‘hurt’, it is unclear if they are are wounded or they have accidental injures in the cause of the incident. The inhabitants of Strasbourg are advised to stay home.

German media reports two killed and 11 ‘injured’, and the perpetrator ‘at large‘. He has a criminal, non-terrorist record. The prosecutors has opened terrorist probe.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who chairs the European Council rotating Presidency, expressed his sympathy to the victims, and underlined the determination to stand by the European values, condemning the attack.

The President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani expressed his condolences to the victims, and ensured the MEPs will be not intimidated by the attack, and “move on”.

We will continue to work, and react strengthened by freedom and democracy against terrorist violence”.

80A70BEF-F5A0-4EA2-A20C-3AA5F3D9DD4E

 

AMENDED:  European Parliament president Antonio Tajani summoned MEPs on the situation in Strasbourg.

Mogherini and Lavrov discussed INF Treaty

The EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, today in the margins of OSCE Ministerial Council in Milan.

Against the backdrop of recent confrontation in the Azov Sea Mogherini conveyed her concerns in the discussion with Lavrov in line with the declaration issued on behalf of the EU.

The diplomats also exchanged views on the importance of Russia’s continued participation in the Council of Europe.

They discussed the future of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INT), and Mogherini stressed that the Treaty is key to European and global security and that it is in the interests of all that the Treaty is preserved and fully implemented.

 

Slovakia expels Russian diplomat

Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini announced on 5 December that the country will expel a Russian diplomat on basis of the information from the military intelligence that he was engaged in espionage, the Slovak media outlet Dennik reported.

We expelled him on November 22 and he left Slovakia within 48 hours”, Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini said.

The Russian Embassy in Slovakia announced that it is studying information about the expulsion of its diplomat.

It is not the first time European states have accused Russia of espionage. Earlier, the Austrian government announced on 9 November that they had launched an investigation into a 70-year-old retired colonel, suspected of working for Russian intelligence since the 1990s. Moscow has denied the allegations, calling them baseless.

Russia considers NATO proposal on INF Treaty

Moscow’s proposals to discuss issues related to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) with the United States remain on the table, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters at a press briefing, commenting on the ultimatum on the treaty put forward by the US and NATO.

“We are ready to continue the dialogue in appropriate formats on the entire range of problems related to this document on the basis of professionalism and mutual respect, without putting forward unsubstantiated accusations and ultimatums. Our proposals are well known and remain on the negotiating table,” she said.

The diplomat confirmed Russia has started considering the US and NATO statement on withdrawing from the INF Treaty in 60 days.

 

 

 

EU-NATO cooperation perspectives

Defence ministers will discuss the latest developments related to EU-NATO cooperation with NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. They will address issues such as hybrid threats and military mobility.

In the current strategic environment, with unprecedented challenges emanating from the South and the East, cooperation between the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is essential. The security of EU and NATO are inter-connected: not only are 22 EU Member States also NATO Allies; together, they can also mobilise a broad range of tools and make the most efficient use of resources to address those challenges and enhance the security of their citizens. EU-NATO cooperation constitutes an integral pillar of the EU’s work aimed at strengthening European security and defence, as part of the implementation of the EU Global Strategy. It also contributes to Trans-Atlantic burden sharing. A stronger EU and a stronger NATO are mutually reinforcing.

« Older Entries