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Combating terrorism [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Sofija Voronova (3rd edition),

Stop terrorism

© makaule / Fotolia

The phenomenon of foreign fighters travelling to conflict zones, mostly in Syria and Iraq, represents a growing threat for the EU and its Member States. Most of the recent terrorist attacks in Europe were perpetrated by ‘home-grown’ terrorists, and at least some of the perpetrators proved to be returned foreign fighters.

In December 2015, the European Commission presented a proposal for a directive on combating terrorism, aimed at updating the current framework on criminalising terrorist offences and at bringing EU legislation into line with international developments, such as the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2178 and the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism. The proposal extends the list of offences, to cover receiving of terrorist training, travelling and attempting to travel abroad for terrorism, and funding or facilitating such travel, and also includes provisions on the protection of victims. After completion of the legislative procedure at first reading in the Parliament and Council, the final act was signed in March 2017. Member States are required to transpose the new directive into national law by 8 September 2018.


Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on combating terrorism and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA on combating terrorism
Committee responsible:


Shadow rapporteurs:







Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE)

Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, Germany)

Caterina Chinnici (S&D, Italy)

Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK)

Petr Ježek (ALDE, Czech Republic)

Cornelia Ernst (GUE/NGL, Germany)

Eva Joly (Greens/EFA, France)

Laura Agea (EFDD, Italy)

Lorenzo Fontana (ENF, Italy)

COM(2016)0625 02.12.2015


Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)

Procedure completed. Directive (EU) 2017/541

OJ L 88, 31.3.2017, pp. 6-21

Stage: procedure completed

Foreign fighters (FF) and returnees by Member State, 2015

Foreign fighters (FF) and returnees by Member State, 2015


Visit the European Parliament page on ‘The EU’s fight against terrorism‘.


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