Members' Research Service By / April 9, 2021

Addressing the dissemination of terrorist content online [EU Legislation in Progress]

Dissemination of terrorist content is one of the most widespread and most dangerous forms of misuse of online services in the field of internal security.

© kebox / Adobe Stock

Written by Katrien Luyten (3rd edition, updated on 15.7.2021),

© kebox / Adobe Stock

Dissemination of terrorist content is one of the most widespread and most dangerous forms of misuse of online services in the field of internal security. In line with the 2015 European agenda on security, and taking into account the impact of this propaganda on the radicalisation, recruitment and training of terrorists, the European Commission launched a voluntary system for tackling terrorism online, based on guidelines and recommendations. However, given the limitations of self-regulation, in September 2018 the Commission proposed a regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online through the removal of such content within one hour of being posted.

While the Council rapidly reached a position on the proposal, the European Parliament adopted its first-reading position in April 2019. Following the European elections, and the appointment of a new rapporteur, interinstitutional trilogue negotiations on the proposal began in autumn 2019. The trilogue meetings were delayed several times, because of the coronavirus pandemic among other reasons. After a new series of terrorist attacks hit Europe in autumn 2020, Parliament and Council reached political agreement on 10 December 2020. The most contentious issues related to the cross-border effect of withdrawal orders and to the use of automated filters to detect terrorist content online. After the Council adopted the text on 16 March 2021, Parliament adopted it in plenary on 28 April. The Regulation entered into force on 6 June and will apply as of 7 June 2022.

Complete version

Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online
Committee responsible: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) COM(2018) 640

Patryk Jaki (ECR, Poland)

Shadow rapporteurs: Javier Zarzalejos (EPP, Spain)
Marina Kaljurand (S&D, Estonia)
Maite Pagazaurtundúa (Renew, Spain)
Jean-Paul Garraud (ID, France)
Patrick Breyer (Greens/EFA, Germany)
Cornelia Ernst (The Left, Germany)
Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Procedure completed. Regulation (EU) 2021/784
OJ L 172, 17.5.2021, pp. 79-109

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