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).