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N-VA welcomes European anti-terror measures
After the recent terror attacks in Paris, which led the Belgian government to make new security investments, the European Parliament has also approved a report setting out a broad range of anti-terror measures. The aim of the report is to point the way for the European fight against terror. “We support the package and are satisfied that, among other things, stricter control of Europe’s external borders and broader and more efficient data exchange have been included,” states N-VA delegation leader Mark Demesmaeker.
The report says that, in order to bolster Europe’s external borders, the EU and Member States must make better use of existing tools. An example of this is the second-generation Schengen Information System (SIS II), a database of suspect individuals in which Belgium cooperates extensively. “But all the other European Member States also need to cooperate, and that still doesn’t happen enough,” regrets Demesmaeker.
Putting safety first
In addition, the so-called PNR Directive for the exchange of passenger information should be completed by the end of this year. “However, a number of groups in the European Parliament continue to oppose this,” states Member of European Parliament Helga Stevens. “In addition, Parliament only wishes to exchange passenger information from flights originating outside the Schengen area, while we want flights within the area to also be subject to checks, along with high-speed train traffic. In discussions like this one, we need to respond to reality by putting safety first.
In addition to the measures in the report, Stevens is asking for stronger community building based on our European values. “If identity-shaping in the community fails, this feeds fundamentalism; successful integration remains crucial. In fact, our Flemish model of mandatory civic integration can serve as an example not only for the rest of Belgium, but also for the rest of Europe.”