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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 March, 2004, 19:30 GMT
Profile: Europe's new 'terror tsar'
Gijs de Vries
De Vries will work to boost pan-European action

Dutch politician Gijs De Vries has been named as the European Union's anti-terrorism coordinator - a new post designed to boost co-operation between member states.

Mr De Vries was deputy interior minister of The Netherlands between 1998 and 2002.

He also sat on the convention that drafted the EU's proposed constitution and played a leading role in setting up the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Before that, Mr De Vries was the head of the Liberal Democratic group in the European parliament.

The counter-terrorism coordinator will work under the EU's foreign policy and security chief Javier Solana, and be answerable to the Council of Ministers - ie to the EU's national governments rather than the European Commission.

Reuters news agency reports that Mr Solana has outlined three main areas of action for the coordinator:

  • to present proposals aimed at better organising and streamlining the work of the EU secretariat in the fight against terrorism

  • to prepare proposals for better coordination among specialist EU councils

  • to maintain regular contacts with member states to ensure the best coordination between EU and national action.

Mr De Vries was born in New York in 1956 and is an avid bird watcher in his spare time.

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