EU Commission Acts to Step up Fight against Terrorism
The European Commission has adopted a set of measures to scale up the common response to terrorism and the illegal trafficking of firearms and explosives in the wake of November 13 Paris attacks.
The package includes two main elements: a proposal for a Directive on Terrorism and an Action Plan, the EU executive body said in a news release on Wednesday.
The Directive on Terrorism aims to strengthen the EU's arsenal in preventing terrorist attacks by criminalising preparatory acts such as training and travel abroad for terrorist purposes as well as aiding or abetting, inciting and attempting terrorist acts.
The Action Plan aims to step up the fight against criminals and terrorists accessing and using weapons and explosives through a reinforced control of illicit possession and import into the EU.
European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans commented: "The increase in the number of EU citizens travelling abroad to become 'foreign fighters' means that an update of the EU framework on terrorist offences is needed to ensure a common criminal justice response. Our proposals will facilitate the efforts of national authorities to disrupt terrorist networks. "
The proposed Directive criminalises travelling abroad for terrorist purposes, terrorism funding and the receiving of training. The new rules will ensure that travel to other countries for terrorist purposes is punishable in all EU countries, as well as acts that facilitate and organise such travel, through provision of transport, funds and safe-houses.
With the Action Plan, the Commission is looking into how the fight against trafficking in firearms and explosives can be stepped up in practice and rendered more effective. The Action Plan seeks to improve operational cooperation and exchange of information at EU level and with third countries.
The measures in the Action Plan complement the legislative proposals made in the review of the Directive of Firearms and the implementing regulation on deactivation of firearms, by addressing the illegal trafficking aspects.
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