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What measures is the European Parliament taking to combat terrorism?

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Many citizens have written to the European Parliament expressing their unity in the face of acts of terrorism. They also ask the EU institutions to adopt measures to combat and prevent these crimes.

The European Parliament is actively involved in the EU fight against terrorism.

On 1 March 2018, the European Parliament adopted a recommendation on cutting the sources of income for jihadists – targeting the financing of terrorism. Among other things, it ‘calls on the Member States and the Commission to consider cutting the funding sources of terrorist networks as a key priority, as it constitutes an effective tool for hampering the effectiveness of those networks’. A summary of the Parliament’s recommendation is available in the press release on ‘Cutting cash flows to terrorists‘.

Special European Parliament Committee on terrorism

During its plenary session in July 2017, the European Parliament set up a Special Committee on Terrorism (TERR), whose remit is to draw up a report containing proposals for submission to the Council and the Commission. The Committee’s aim is to make a significant contribution to improving Europe’s capacity to respond to and combat terrorism and to consider possible ways forward.

European Parliament resolutions

A resolution on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) was adopted by the European Parliament on 23 November 2016. Among other things, Parliament called for a revised and more robust CSDP, an integrated approach to crises, collaboration with NATO and other partners, as well as for European defence cooperation. Further information is available in the European Parliament press release ‘Defence: MEPs push for more EU cooperation to better protect Europe‘.

Furthermore, in its resolution of 25 November 2015 on the prevention of radicalisation and recruitment of European citizens by terrorist organisations, the European Parliament proposed, amongst other measures, to prevent violent extremism and terrorist radicalisation in prisons, to prevent radicalisation through education and social inclusion, and to promote exchange of information and good practices. More information is available in the Parliament press release ‘EP calls for joint EU strategy to fight radicalisation of young EU citizens‘.

EU strategy and legislation

The EU counter-terrorism strategy aims to combat terrorism globally, while respecting human rights, and to make Europe safer, allowing its citizens to live in an area of freedom, security and justice. It is based on four strands (prevent, protect, pursue and respond), and recognises the importance of cooperation with third countries and international institutions.

Directive (EU) 2017/541 on combating terrorism extends the list of offences to cover receiving terrorist training, travelling and attempting to travel abroad for terrorism, and funding or facilitating such travel, and includes provisions on the protection of victims.

An overview of EU law in the fight against terrorism is available in the EUR-Lex database.

Further information

The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) provides publications and analyses on EU measures to combat and prevent terrorism. In particular, the 2018 study ‘The fight against terrorism – Cost of Non-Europe Report‘ identifies a number of gaps and barriers in measures combating terrorism.

The ‘News’ section of the European Parliament’s website includes articles, interviews, press releases and other materials on terrorism.

The 2018 infographic on ‘How to stop terrorism: EU measures explained‘ provides an overview of the EU’s counterterrorism policies aiming to prevent new attacks and to safeguard security.

Continue to put your questions to the Citizens’ Enquiries Unit (Ask EP). We reply to you in the EU language that you use to write to us.


Visit the European Parliament homepage on the fight against terrorism.

About Ask EP

The Citizens' Enquiries Unit provides information on the activities, powers and organisation of the European Parliament. You ask, we answer.

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