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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 March, 2004, 23:05 GMT
Key elements of EU terror action plan
Policeman stands by one of the Madrid trains that was bombed
Terror and security now top the agenda after Madrid

The European Union's summit in Brussels is being dominated by the need to co-ordinate and co-operate in countering terrorism.

Leaders adopted a Declaration on Combating Terrorism.

This was drawn up by EU interior ministers on 19 March - a week after the Madrid bombings - and then adopted by foreign ministers on 22 March.

Here are the key elements:

  • The adoption of a "solidarity clause" from the draft EU constitution which provides for mutual assistance in the event of a terrorist attack

  • The creation of a counter-terrorism co-ordinator to oversee the EU's anti-terrorist activity

  • The integration of an intelligence structure on terrorism within the Council Secretariat. High Representative Javier Solana will be charged with presenting a report to the June European Council on how this might be achieved. (It will not be a "European CIA" as suggested by Belgium and Austria)

  • Making better use of existing bodies such as Europol (police and security co-operation), Eurojust (judicial co-operation) and the Police Chiefs Task Force

  • Strengthened border controls and greater progress on establishing a European Borders Agency

  • Making progress with the adoption of a database of persons condemned for terrorism or other serious crimes

  • Putting forward a proposal on keeping data by telephone and internet operators

  • Making counter-terrorism a key element of political dialogue when agreeing on external programmes with third countries (aid and trade could be affected if a country is not deemed to have co-operated sufficiently)

  • Adoption of the Council Directive on compensation to crime victims

  • Putting forward new proposals and build on existing ones to prevent the financing of terrorism

  • Ensuring that existing legal instruments (eg EU arrest warrant) are fully implemented by a given date (interior ministers suggest June 2004 but could be later).




SEE ALSO:
Europe's new security challenge
15 Mar 04 |  Europe
Q&A: EU 'terror tsar'
19 Mar 04 |  Europe
The European terror challenge
24 Mar 04 |  Europe



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