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War, Peace and Development Europe D66 European Parliament

EU TERRORISM PROPOSALS NOT SUFFICIENT

   Wed 19/09/2001

The European Commission´s proposals to fight international terrorism are "clearly insufficient" in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the US. Lousewies van der Laan is pleased that all of Parliament´s proposals from before the attacks have been adopted, but feels that the new situation calls for more committed action to fight terrorism.

Democrats 66 criticised the European Commission terrorism proposals unveiled today as "clearly insufficient" following the attacks on New York and Washington. Lousewies van der Laan feels that the proposals announced by Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Antonio Vitorino had been overtaken by events. She said: "The Commission's proposals take on board most of the recommendations in the Parliament´s report of 5th September and are a welcome and important step forward. They deserve urgent consideration and swift action by the Justice and Home Affairs ministers at their meeting tomorrow. "However, in the light of last week's tragic events, they are clearly insufficient. They do nothing to improve co-operation with countries outside the EU. They fail to solve conflicts of competence between judicial authorities. They leave the vital matter of police co-operation subject to a national veto by any one member state. "If the EU is serious about combating terrorism, national governments must gear up the operational instruments of common action such as Europol and Eurojust and act decisively to combat money-laundering by international criminal networks. This means recognising that the fig-leaf of national sovereignty serves only to hide their impotence. To maintain the balance between security and civil liberties they need to make decision-making in Justice and Home Affairs a core competence of the EU, subject to the democratic oversight and accountability of this parliament." Lousewies van der Laan is leader of Democrats 66, which is part of the European Party of Liberal Democrats, which took the initiative for the EP report on fighting terrorism. The report was adopted one week before the attack on the US.