Following the recent attacks in France and Austria, the European Union is adopting a Counter-Terrorism Agenda. This Agenda builds on existing policies and instruments and will strengthen the EU’s framework to further improve on anticipating threats and risks, preventing radicalisation and violent extremism, protecting people and infrastructures, including through external border security, and effective follow-up after attacks. It also outlines the way forward to improve law enforcement and judicial cooperation, and the use of technologies and sharing of relevant information across the EU, including for those performing checks at the external borders.
The EU has considerably stepped up its counter-terrorism engagement with countries affected by Daesh in North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey and the Western Balkans. For example, a counter-terrorism package for Tunisia was adopted, focusing on advice and expertise, training, border security, legal reforms, aviation security and counter-radicalisation measures. Similar packages for Jordan and Lebanon are foreseen in the future. The EU contributes to work within the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to analyse the finances of Daesh and its affiliates. The EU fully supports compliance with the FATF recommendations by international financial actors as a means to prevent the funding of Daesh.
The EU currently has 17 CT/Security Experts posted in key EU Delegations . A deployment of a CT/Security expert to Mozambique is planned for early 2021. CT/Security Experts liaise with host governments, regional organisations and civil society. They work on strengthening relations between various EU stakeholders (such as Justice and Home Affairs Agencies) and the host country on CT, organised crime (OC) and security-related issues. They also identify possible areas for additional CT/OC assistance.
To counter Daesh’s ideological influence, the EU provides financial support to partner countries in view to better understand and counter the process of radicalisation leading to violent extremism and terrorism. The EU is also aiming at strengthening local resilience to extremist recruitment, inter alia by identifying key actors, extremist ideologies and recruitment mechanisms. In that regard, it supports measures in the area of education, youth and preventing and countering terrorist propaganda and hate speech on and offline as well as measures to facilitate reintegration and to address radicalisation in prisons.
The EU has been active in regional and international diplomatic outreach and continues to back the efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Syria Mr Geir Pedersen to facilitate the full implementation of UNSCR 2254. On Iraq, the EU has been encouraging, through political dialogue, Iraq’s neighbours to support the government’s reform and reconciliation efforts.