N-VA proposes recommendations in the European Counter-Terrorism Committee

5 July 2018

The fight against terror is not yet over. Europe is therefore working on a coherent and effective security policy. MEP Helga Stevens, co-reporter on the Special Parliamentary Counter-Terrorism Committee (TERR), was one of the authors of a report containing concrete recommendations for tackling terrorism at the European level. The other political groups will have until September to amend the text of Helga Stevens that describes the future vision, and then the entire European Parliament will give its opinion on it.

“A lot has already happened, but after intensive investigation and contacts with the police and intelligence services throughout Europe, we were still able to identify gaps,” Helga Stevens says. “This report is intended to be a starting point to ramp up the fight against terror further. I hope to receive support from all the groups so that the recommendations can quickly lead to concrete legislative proposals and practical measures.”

The proposals being submitted apply to many areas, institutions and policy levels. For example, there is a need for a European watchlist so that Member States can share information about nationally-identified hate preachers, criteria to measure the effectiveness of deradicalisation programmes and possibilities of shutting down organisations with dubious sources of funding. “In the framework of a judicial investigation, Europe must also be able to ‘crack’ information exchanged via communication channels such as WhatsApp and Messenger, for example via a ‘decryption hub’ within Europol,” Helga Stevens continues.

Finally, the Justice department must be able to do its work. “Currently, criminals often get away with light punishments or sometimes even none at all! This feeling of impunity must be brought to an end, otherwise we will be fighting a losing battle. A lax policy creates professional criminals who sometimes develop into full-fledged terrorists and that has to stop,” Helga Stevens says.

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