Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 259

Posts Tagged ‘terrorism’

European Public Prosecutor’s office should fight terrorism, say MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 24 marzo 2019

The Civil Liberties Committee calls on the Council to enable the European Public Prosecutor’s office to investigate and prosecute cross-border terrorism and organised crime.The European Public Prosecutor’s office (EPPO) could improve the EU’s capacity to tackle serious crime having a cross-border dimension like terrorism, say MEPs. They thus call on the Council to expand the powers of the EPPO to include the fight against organised crime and terrorism if unanimity exists among the Member States.The tasks of the EPPO, expected to be operational at the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021, currently include investigating, prosecuting and bringing to justice crimes against the EU budget; such as fraud, corruption or cross-border VAT fraud above 10 million euros.
The resolution answers to a communication from the Commission from September 2018.Civil Liberties Committee Chair and rapporteur Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) said: “Today our Committee has taken an important measure in the fight against organised crime and terrorism, by setting out that, once established and fully operational, the tasks of the European Public Prosecutor’s office can be extended to cover terrorism. This can build on the added value of the organisation, supporting coordinated investigations and better information sharing.”

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Combatting terrorism: press conference after the vote in plenary

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 13 dicembre 2018

The European Parliament voted on a non-legislative initiative report on “Findings and recommendations of the Special Committee on Terrorism”.Parliament recommends multiple actions, such as reinforcing the role of the EU agencies (e.g. Europol and the European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT Systems eu-LISA), creating an EU watch-list of radical preachers, strengthening EU’s external borders and proper checks at all border crossings using all relevant databases.To be adopted, the report drafted by the two co-rapporteurs Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE) and Helga Stevens (ECR, BE) needs the majority of the house.

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Terrorism: Statement on the anniversary of the 22/3 attacks

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 22 marzo 2018

President Antonio Tajani, on the anniversary of the Brussels and London attacks (22 March 2016 and 22 March 2017 respectively), said: “Terrorism is an offence to our basic principles. Defending and honouring the victims of terror is equivalent to defending our values. In the name of all the victims, we are duty bound to verify whether our tools are adequate, or whether we could do more. In 2012 we adopted a Directive on victims’ rights. We should assess its implementation and see whether it is being applied across the board”. “Last year, the European Parliament also strengthened victims’ rights, by establishing measures for immediate assistance, particularly in situations with victims from across different borders. We saw attacks in cities with many tourists and expat communities in London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Nice, Stockholm and Barcelona. We must ensure that victims do not go through additional trauma to get help in a foreign city. The setting up of a special Committee on Terrorism is a signal of the importance we place on the security of our citizens. Thanks to its work, the Parliament will be able to enhance its efforts on the Union’s anti-terrorism policies”, President Tajani added.Chair of EP Special Committee on Terrorism, Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE, FR), at the opening of a public hearing dedicated to the protection of victims’ rights, said: “Today my thoughts are with victims of terrorism and their families. I also welcome the work done by non-governmental organisations, which is essential and exemplary. A terrorist attack majorly breaches the victim’s trust in society. Our obligations are far beyond merely legal and moral. We must carry out our responsibilities, in order to not confine victims to their status, and to prove that our societies are strong and resilient. Member states must put in place the necessary structures and measures to assist victims. We have to guarantee that their needs are quickly met and carefully treated with humanity”.The Special Committee on Terrorism held a minute of silence with representatives of victims who participated yesterday and today in a series of public debates, organised and promoted by the European Parliament.

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Islamist terrorism in Catalonia leaves the Spanish wondering why

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 19 agosto 2017

Islamist terrorismTHE jihadists of Islamic State (IS) may boast of their ambition to recover the lost Islamic lands of “al-Andalus”. But until this week Spain seemed relatively safe, and tourists have been flocking to its cities and beaches in growing numbers—nowhere more so than to Barcelona.That illusion of security was cruelly shattered around 5pm on August 17th, when a white van veered onto Las Ramblas, a tree-lined avenue that represents the city’s easy-going spirit. The vehicle zigzagged down the avenue for about 500 metres, mowing down panicked pedestrians before crashing; the driver fled on foot. At least 13 people were killed, and more than 100 injured.What at first seemed like a lone-wolf attack quickly turned into something more organised and sinister. A few hours after the carnage in Las Ramblas, in the early hours of August 18th, Catalan police shot dead five suspected terrorists in Cambrils, a seaside resort. Their vehicle had jumped a police checkpoint and sped towards the main beachfront promenade, where it overturned, according to local media reports. They were wearing what appeared to be explosive vests but these proved to be fake, the police said. Four of the attackers were killed by police after the vehicle flipped, while the fifth was shot after being spotted by a police helicopter, according to El País, a Spanish newspaper. Video footage by bystanders shows him being repeatedly shot, standing up, and being shot again as he jumped over a partition in the road and rushed towards policemen. A woman who was stabbed by one of the assailants was killed in Cambrils; five civilians and one policeman were injured.
Adding to the alarm is the evidence from an explosion that destroyed a house on Wednesday night in another Catalan town, Alcanar. The blast, which left one person dead, was initially attributed by firemen to a gas leak. But the house now appears to have been a bomb factory, part of a plot to use gas as an explosive. One of the men injured in the house explosion in Alcanar is in police custody.
Investigations into the suspected cell are still at an early stage, but are focusing on men of Moroccan descent, including some with links to the Spanish enclaves in north Africa. The man in whose name the Barcelona attack van had been rented was arrested in another Catalan town, Ripoll, after he walked into a police station to report that his documents had been stolen. Media reports identify him as Driss Oukabir, a Moroccan. Unconfirmed reports claim his brother, Moussa, was the driver of the van in Barcelona. Police are trying to determine whether he was among those killed in Cambrils.Catalonia, which hosts Spain’s largest Muslim population, has been a focus of radicalism. Since 2012 police have conducted some 30 separate anti-terrorism investigations in the region, arresting 62 suspects. In April police arrested nine people in and around Barcelona, reportedly in connection to the terrorist attacks in Brussels in March 2016. El Periódico, a newspaper, says the CIA had warned Spain about an impending attack in Barcelona, but it appeared to lack specific details.
IS later claimed responsibility for the attack in Las Ramblas, saying it was a “response to calls for targeting coalition states”—a reference to the American-led coalition against the group. It was the worst act of jihadist terrorism in Spain since the bombing of commuter trains in Madrid killed 192 people in 2004 (see chart below). If the Madrid bombings were supposedly a reprisal for the country’s participation in the invasion of Iraq, the motivation for the latest attacks seem less obvious. These days Spain is a minor player in the campaign against IS and other groups, a fact that some thought might reduce the risk of attack. In 2015 Spain withdrew nearly all its troops from Afghanistan. It is not taking part in the air campaign against IS in Iraq and Syria. Spain has about 400 soldiers helping to train the Iraqi army and police. In Africa, Spain has also provided transport aircraft to help French-led missions in Gabon and Senegal, and has had a small contingent of 150 soldiers in Mali.
Yet pretexts for an attack are easy to find in the tangle of historical, religious and contemporary grudges that jihadists hold against the West. In the end, the targets and timing of jihadist attacks in Europe may have less to do with deliberate planning by IS leaders, increasingly embattled in their self-declared caliphate, and more with the availability of extremists, sometimes self-radicalised, willing to terrorismcarry out attacks. An important question for counter-terrorism experts is whether the attacks in Spain involved fighters who have returned to Europe from Syria. Unlike those of al-Qaeda, IS’s claims of responsibility tend not to include “martyrdom” videos made by the attackers.Whether or not IS was mounting a concerted plot against Spain, the attacks were an assault on all of Europe, and the world: the dead and injured include German, French, Italian, Belgian and Greek citizens. Australian, Pakistani, Philippine, Venezuelan and Chinese nationals were also among the casualties, officials said.Tourism has been the engine of Spain’s economic recovery since the financial crisis, accounting for 11% of GDP last year. Spain welcomed a record 75m tourists in 2016 and is expecting another surge this year; the number of tourists rose almost 12% in the first half of 2017, compared with the same period last year. In part Spain benefited from terrorist attacks elsewhere, including Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey.Barcelona is Spain’s main tourism hub, welcoming sine 9m overnight visitors a year. In recent online propaganda linked to IS, the city’s emblematic Sagrada Família basilica was featured as a possible target.
The Madrid attacks of 2004 had an immediate political impact, ruining the prospect of re-election for the centre-right Popular Party a few days later, not least because it had wrongly blamed the attack on the Basque-separatist ETA movement. One question is whether the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils might dampen support for Catalan independence in a controversial referendum by the regional government, scheduled for October 1st. For now, though, the city’s citizens will be mourning their dead. As the strollers returned to Las Ramblas the day after the murders, they spontaneously broke out in chants of “we have no fear”. (by The Economist)

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Special committee to tackle deficiencies in the fight against terrorism

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 8 luglio 2017

terrorismoMEPs approved setting up a 12-month special committee to address the practical and legislative deficiencies in the fight against terrorism across the EU.The special committee will examine and evaluate the extent of the terrorist threat on European soil and look into any potential faults and malfunctions which might have allowed recent terrorist attacks in member states to occur. The committee is in particular charged with looking into:the implementation of existing measures in the field of external border management deficiencies in sharing judicial, law enforcement and intelligence information among member states the interoperability of European information-sharing databases
the impact of EU anti-terror laws on fundamental rights radicalisation and the effectiveness of de-radicalisation programmes money laundering and terrorism financing, including its links to organised crime best practice with regard to the protection of soft targets and critical infrastructure, such as airports and train stations.
30 MEPs will sit on the special committee and its mandate will run for 12 months, which can be prolonged, starting from the date of its constitutive meeting. The committee is to deliver a mid-term and a final report containing factual findings and recommendations.
The committee will make visits and hold hearings with other EU institutions, the relevant agencies, national parliaments and governments of member states and non-EU countries, law enforcement agencies, intelligence services, judges and magistrates as well as victims’ organisations. Due to the sensitive nature of the information being handled, it is expected that some meetings might be held behind closed doorsThe mandate was adopted by 527 votes to 73, with 36 abstentions.

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On War and Terrorism

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 5 aprile 2017

Roma Venerdì 7 Aprile 2017, ore 16:30 Dipartimento di Filosofia, Sala del Consiglio, Via Ostiense 234 Università Roma TreDepartment of Philosophy, Communication Studies and Media Studies On War and Terrorism
16:30 Introduction
16: 45 George Meggle (Leipzig), On terrorism
18:00 Christoph Lumer (Siena), Humanitarian interventions: A consequentialist conception
19:00 Mario De Caro (Roma Tre & Tufts), Is a just war theory still possible?
Ingresso libero

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MEPs commemorate victims of 22 March Brussels attack and stress need to step up security

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 16 marzo 2017

Bruxelles. MEPs examined progress made in fighting terrorism since the 22 March 2016 attacks in Brussels in Wattentato aeroporto bruxellesednesday afternoon’s “topical debate”. They stressed the need to do more to ensure swift and efficient information sharing among member states and improve the interoperability of EU databases, as well as to prevent radicalization and help victims of terrorism.MEPs underlined the need for strong controls at the EU’s external borders in the debate with EU Commissioners Dimitris Avramopoulos and Sir Julian King, and Maltese Parliamentary Secretary Ian Borg for the Council Presidency. Several called for an assessment of existing counter-terrorism measures, to ensure that the right ones are taken and that they are properly implemented, and that they protect fundamental rights. Many also stressed the need to address the root causes of terrorism by creating inclusive societies to prevent radicalization.In the past year, the EU has approved important counter-terrorism measures such as a directive on the use of Passenger Name Records (PNR – which should help to trace terrorists), updated rules on combatting-terrorism and new requirements to check everyone crossing EU external borders as well as new rules on Europol to allow the agency to respond faster to terrorist threats.Further initiatives in the pipeline include reviewing the Schengen Information System and the European Criminal Records Information System and establishing a new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) to pre-screen travelers entering the EU visa free.In September 2016, Sir Julian King was appointed as Commissioner for Security Union, a newly created portfolio.

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Preventing terrorism: clampdown on foreign fighters and lone wolves

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 17 febbraio 2017

terrorismoTo counter the growing threats from “foreign fighters” travelling to conflict zones for terrorist purposes and “lone wolves” planning solo attacks, new EU-wide rules were approved by Parliament on Thursday.The new directive on combatting terrorism will update the current EU “framework” rules on terrorist offences and widen their scope to include emerging threats.“We need to stop the perpetrators before they commit these acts rather than regretting the fact that there have been attacks”, said Parliament’s lead MEP Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE) in the debate ahead of the vote. “We have struck a good balance between improving security and strictly upholding fundamental rights, because there is no point in having security without rights”, she stressed. The text, informally agreed by Parliament and Council in November 2016, was approved by 498 votes to 114, with 29 abstentions.The extended list of preparatory acts to be criminalised includes:
travelling abroad to join a terrorist group and and/or returning to the EU with the aim of carrying out a terrorist attack,
recruiting for terrorism,
training or being trained for terrorism,
aiding, abetting or attempting to carry out an attack,
public incitement or praise of terrorism, and
financing of terrorism and terrorist groups
The new directive also includes provisions to ensure immediate assistance to victims and their relatives after an attack. For example, EU member states should ensure that support services are in place to help families find out which hospital their relative has been taken to, and help victims to return to their home countries, if they have been caught in an attack while visiting another EU country. Assistance should also include medical and psychological support as well as advice on legal and financial matters such as legal procedures for making claims.
Once the new rules are published in the EU Official Journal, member states will have 18 months to transpose them into national law. The UK and Ireland will not be bound by the directive, but may notify the EU Commission of their intention to opt in, if they so wish. Denmark will not be covered by the directive.

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International police cooperation: MEPs back Europol – Georgia deal to fight terrorism and organised crime

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 17 dicembre 2016

europolAn agreement establishing police cooperation between Europol and Georgia, aimed at strengthening the mutual fight against terrorism and organised crime, was backed by the European Parliament on Wednesday.
The operational and strategic agreement allow for the exchange of information, including personal data. Such information could come in the form of specialist knowledge, general situation reports, results of strategic analysis and information on criminal investigation procedures and crime-prevention methods. It could also include participation in training activities and advice and support during individual criminal investigations.”There are clear operational needs for Europol to deepen its cooperation with Georgia,” said Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) who is Parliament’s rapporteur on the file. “According to Europol, Georgia is increasingly relevant in the fight against terrorism and organised crime, particularly as it is a transit country of so-called foreign fighters and a vital partner in the fight against Georgian organised criminal groups.”The conclusion of this strategic and operational cooperation agreement with Georgia would therefore aid and reinforce the fight against organised crime and would contribute to enhancing international law enforcement co-operation,” he added.Under the current rules established in the Europol Council Decision (2009/371/JHA), Parliament must be consulted only before the Council establishes police cooperation agreements with third countries.
However, the rapporteur underlines that with new Europol regulation entering into force from 11 May 2016 and applying from 1 May 2017, the Commission will have to check all existing cooperation agreements to see if they comply with data protection standards and inform Parliament of the outcome of the assessment.Once this new Europol regulation applies, Parliament will get an equal say with the Council on future police cooperation agreements and its approval will be required in order for new agreements to get the green light.
Parliament gave its green light to the agreement by 544 votes in favour to 99 against, with 66 abstentions.

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Clampdown on terrorism – new counter-terrorism law backed by civil liberties MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 7 dicembre 2016

european parliamentForeign fighters as well as “lone wolves” training and preparing terrorist attacks on European soil will be criminalised under new EU-rules to fight terrorism backed on Monday. Civil Liberties Committee MEPs voted by 37 to 4, with 7 abstentions, to back an informal deal on the draft law, struck by Parliament, the Council and Commission on 17 November. For a preparatory act to be criminalised, it must have been carried out intentionally or knowingly, the text says. Parliament’s negotiators inserted a clause stressing that fundamental rights and freedoms must be respected. The deal still needs to be endorsed by Parliament as a whole and EU ministers.
Parliament’s lead MEP Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE) said “There is no freedom without security. Travelling abroad for terrorist purposes, training or being trained for them, inciting terrorism or financing terrorist activities will be made a crime in all EU member states. This is a very comprehensive framework which implements UN and Financial Action Task Force Directives in the fight against terror.”
The following acts, among others, are to be made criminal offences throughout the EU:
· travelling abroad to join a terrorist group or for training for terrorism, such as foreign fighters travelling to Syria or other conflict zones, or returning to the EU if that the person might constitute a threat,
· recruitment for terrorism,
· providing or receiving training for making explosives or weapons or noxious or hazardous substances. This provision would also apply to “lone wolves” studying to carry out an attack on their own,
· public incitement to commit terrorism or advocating terrorism, either directly or indirectly through the glorification of such acts, that intentionally caused danger of new offences. (Member states would be required to ensure the prompt removal of online content that constitute public provocation to commit terrorism or, if not possible, block such content while ensuring judicial redress and compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights), and
· providing funds to commit or contribute to terrorism (member states would also be required to take measures to freeze or seize such funds).
Parliament’s negotiators ensured that, for the first time, member states will be obliged to exchange relevant information in relation to criminal proceedings on terrorist offences as soon as possible if the information could be used to prevent future attacks or assist other ongoing investigations or proceedings.
Helping victims of terrorism
Member states would have to put in place emergency response systems in the event of an attack to ensure immediate help is given to victims and their families, for example through national websites and emergency support centres.
Help should include medical treatment, emotional and psychological support, as well as counselling on legal or financial matters, including compensation claims. Victims caught in a terrorist attack while visiting another EU country should get help to return home.
Next stepsThe agreement is expected to be voted in Plenary in February 2017. Member states will have 18 months to ensure that its provisions can be applied. The UK and Ireland will not be bound by the directive, but may notify the EU Commission of their intention to opt-in, if they so wish. Denmark will not be covered by the directive.

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Counter-terrorism Press conference after committee vote

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 5 luglio 2016

StrasbourgStrasbourg On Tuesday 5 JULY 2016 09.30 Press room of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Civil Liberties MEPs will vote their amendments to the draft directive on “Combatting terrorism” and on a mandate for Parliament’s lead MEP Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE) to open up negotiations with the Council. Following the committee vote, Mrs Hohlmeier will give a press conference on Tuesday morning at 9.30 in the press briefing room in Strasbourg.The draft directive on “Combatting terrorism” aims to step up the fight against terrorism by criminalising also preparatory acts.EU legislation of 2002, last updated in 2008, already criminalises certain terrorist acts, including the commission of terrorist attacks. However, the new proposal suggests also criminalising travelling abroad for terrorist purposes, receiving training or financing terrorist activities as well as specific measures to protect and assist victims of terrorism.The proposal for the Counter terrorism directive was presented by the Commission on 2 December 2015 in the wake of the November Paris attacks and is considered a key tool in the joint fight to prevent terrorism.

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WTTC Statement on Istanbul Airport attack on June 28

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 30 giugno 2016

turchia-ist3The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) condemns in the strongest terms the attack on Istanbul Ataturk Airport yesterday and extends its condolences to all those affected by it.David Scowsill, President and CEO, said “Again we find ourselves having to express condolences to victims of a horrendous act of terrorism. The Council stands behind the Turkish government in managing this devastating incident.The attack is a further blow to Turkey’s tourism sector, which in 2015 contributed 13% of GDP and generated 2 million jobs. While our research shows that tourism is extremely resilient in the face of terrorism, this latest incident will undoubtedly have far reaching impacts. The international community, both private and public sectors, must come together in support of Turkey to ensure that as a destination it can rebound and thrive in the future.”
The World Travel & Tourism Council is the global authority on the economic and social contribution of Travel & Tourism. It promotes sustainable growth for the sector, working with governments and international institutions to create jobs, to drive exports and to generate prosperity. WTTC is the organiser of the annual Global Summit, which brings together over 1000 delegates to discuss the opportunities, challenges and issues facing the industry, while its Tourism for Tomorrow Awards recognise the industry’s power to be a positive force in sustainability.

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Counter-terrorism Press conference after committee vote

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 21 giugno 2016

terrorismoOn Tuesday 21 June at 11.00, Civil Liberties MEPs will vote their amendments to the draft directive on “Combatting terrorism” and on a mandate for Parliament’s lead MEP Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE) to open up negotiations with the Council. Following the committee vote, Mrs Hohlmeier will give a press conference at 14.30.The draft directive on “Combatting terrorism” aims to step up the fight against terrorism by criminalising also preparatory acts. EU legislation of 2002, last updated in 2008, already criminalises certain terrorist acts, including the commission of terrorist attacks. However, the new proposal suggests also criminalising travelling abroad for terrorist purposes, receiving training or financing terrorist activities as well as specific measures to protect and assist victims of terrorism. The proposal for the Counter terrorism directive was presented by the Commission on 2 December 2015 in the wake of the November Paris attacks and is considered a key tool in the joint fight to prevent terrorism.

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EUROPOL report on terrorism, external borders and European Data Protection Supervisor

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 21 maggio 2016

europolBrussels – Room József Antall (JAN) 6Q2 Monday 23 May 2016, 15.00 – 18.30 Tuesday 24 May 2016, 9.00 – 12.30 and 15.00 – 18.30. Presentations and debates.
Monday Illicit trade in tobacco products – Presentation of a protocol to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to eliminate the illicit trade, rapporteur Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL, UK) (15.00 – 15.40)
Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI) – presentation by Arie Ijzerman, Chair of COSI (15.40 – 16.45)
Presentation of the EUROPOL reports on terrorism: “Terrorism Situation Report 2016” and “Changes in modus operandi of Islamic State terrorist attacks” – Presentation by Manuel Navarrete Paniagua, Head of the European Counter-Terrorism Centre (16.45 – 17.45)
Temporary internal border control in exceptional circumstances putting the Schengen area at risk – Exchange of views with the Council Presidency and the Commission (17.45 – 18.30)
Tuesday European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) – presentation of annual report by Giovanni Buttarelli (09.00 – 09.45).
Joint debate on establishing and entry/exit system (EES). MEPs will focus on:
registration of entry and exit data and refusal of entry data of third country nationals crossing the external borders of the EU (09.45 – 10.30)
amending the regulation on the use of the Entry/Exit System – Presentation by the Commission followed by debate, rapporteur Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra (EPP, ES) (09.45 – 10.30)
Fight against corruption and follow up of the CRIM resolution – Consideration of draft report, rapporteur Laura Ferrara (EFDD, IT) (11.00 – 11.45)
Votes – Tuesday 12.00-12.30
European Maritime Safety Agency – adoption of draft opinion, rapporteur Artis Pabriks (EPP, LT) (12.00 – 12.30).
Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Peru on the short-stay visa waiver – adoption of draft report by Mariya Gabriel (EPP, BG) (12.00 – 12.30).
Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with special regard to the Concluding Observations of the UN CRPD Committee – adoption of draft opinion, rapporteur Martina Anderson (GUE/ NGL, UK)
Hearing on “The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) and the European Union’s Judicial cooperation Unit (EUROJUST)” (15.00 – 18.30)

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Foreign fighters: Civil Liberties Committee debates how to tackle the phenomenon

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 21 aprile 2016

terrorismoLinks between organised crime and terrorism, how to handle people returning from conflict zones, de-radicalisation and the need for a common definition of terrorism and means to prove terrorist intent were among the issues raised in the Civil Liberties Committee’s “foreign fighters” debate with Eurojust President Michèle Coninsx on Wednesday. On Thursday MEPs will debate plans for external border checks on EU citizens.Ms Coninsx briefed MEPs on recent trends in the phenomenon of foreign fighters and terrorism and presented the development and state of play of the common judicial response facilitated by Eurojust, the EU’s judicial cooperation agency.
On Thursday, MEPs will debate how to put a stop to foreign fighters in the context of the ongoing legislative work on combatting terrorism and on reinforcement of checks at external borders.Lead MEP on the proposal for a regulation on reinforcement of checks against relevant databases at external borders Monica Macovei (ECR, RO) will present her draft report to the Committee at 9.30-10.00. The proposal suggests systematic checks of EU citizens at the external borders and not only of third country nationals as is the case today.On Thursday afternoon, MEPs will go over the amendments on the draft report on combatting terrorism which proposes criminalising preparatory terrorist acts such as travelling for terrorist purposes (lead MEP Monika Hohlmeier, EPP, DE).

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EU PNR: useful against terrorism, but privacy and proportionality worries remain

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 15 aprile 2016

terrorismoMany MEPs speaking in Wednesday’s debate were convinced that the proposed EU law on the use of Passenger Name Records (PNR) will be a useful tool in the fight against terrorism and serious crime. But others voiced serious concerns about the adequacy of privacy safeguards and the proportionality of massive collection of data. The EU PNR directive, which Parliament will put to a plenary vote on Thursday, will oblige airlines to hand EU countries their passengers’ data for all flights from a third country to the EU and vice versa. According to the provisional agreement reached by Parliament and Council negotiators in December 2015, the data will be retained for five years, although after six months the information that may lead to the identification of the individual will be rendered invisible.

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EU Passenger Name Record (PNR): Press conference ahead of final vote

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 13 aprile 2016

Singapore AirlinesMEPs are set to vote on Thursday 14 April on an EU directive regulating the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data in the fight against terrorism and serious crime. Negotiators from Parliament and Council reached last December a provisional deal on the legislation, which was endorsed by the Civil Liberties committee on 10 December. The Parliament´s rapporteur was Mr Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK) Under the new rules, airlines will have to hand EU countries their passengers´ data to help combatting terrorism and other forms of serious crime. The data will be kept for 5 years, but after the first six months they will be “masked out”, i.e., all personal identifying information will be rendered invisible.

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Fight against terrorism and serious crime

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 12 aprile 2016

StrasbourgStrasbourg On Wednesday 13 APRIL 2016 14.00 Press room of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. MEPs are set to vote on Thursday 14 April on an EU directive regulating the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data in the fight against terrorism and serious crime.
Negotiators from Parliament and Council reached last December a provisional deal on the legislation, which was endorsed by the Civil Liberties committee on 10 December. The Parliament´s rapporteur was Mr Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK)Under the new rules, airlines will have to hand EU countries their passengers´ data to help combatting terrorism and other forms of serious crime. The data will be kept for 5 years, but after the first six months they will be “masked out”, i.e., all personal identifying information will be rendered invisible.

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“Don’t close borders in response to terrorism”, says WTTC CEO

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 7 aprile 2016

tourism_travel_world_map_-_magicwall.ca“Closing borders and jeopardising the freedom to travel is not the answer to the current security concerns. World leaders need to stand together and act now, with the support of the Travel & Tourism sector.”That was the message from David Scowsill, President & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) at the start of the organisation’s annual Global Summit, in Dallas, Texas.Scowsill told the assembled private and public sector delegates that: “The combination of global terrorism and an international refugee crisis is creating an unprecedented threat, but closing our borders and jeopardising our freedom to travel is not the solution. We have to prevent an overreaction from governments.”“We live in an ever-connected world, brought closer by technology, multi-platform media, binding trade agreements and the sheer speed of travel. That same connectivity sees us witnessing the migration of peoples, on a scale not seen for decades. Navigating our way through and beyond the complexities of mass migration, embracing the possibilities while acknowledging the concerns, will be the urgent task of our global leaders now and in the future”, he said.In calling on world leaders to “prevent an overreaction from governments” he said the critical question is to understand “how can we keep our borders safe, while keeping those same borders open to business travellers and tourists?”He reminded delegates of the impact of the US border tightening after the 11 September 2001 attacks, which led to a ‘lost decade’ of tourism income that cost the United States some $600 billion.
WTTC advocates improving international intelligence and security agency cooperation, better use of technology, and better communication as ways of combatting the problem. Such action will take global agreements and a commitment to sharing data – something which can only happen with concerted international effort. “World leaders need to stand up together and to act now. And it is our role as Travel & Tourism leaders to make that happen”, he said.The economic contribution of Travel & Tourism is clear. Globally, the Travel & Tourism sector contributes $7.2 trillion annually, almost 10% of the world’s GDP, and supports one in eleven of all jobs on the planet, an exceptionally resilient performance despite many challenges.Scowsill also highlighted how the sector is force for good in the world: “Travel and Tourism brings people together. It puts a smile on people’s faces. It alleviates poverty. It provides employment across all levels of society, and in some of the most remote places on earth. It broadens horizons and breaks boundaries.”
The World Travel & Tourism Council is the global authority on the economic and social contribution of Travel & Tourism. It promotes sustainable growth for the sector, working with governments and international institutions to create jobs, to drive exports and to generate prosperity. For 25 years, WTTC has been the voice of this industry globally. Members are the Chairs, Presidents and Chief Executives of the world’s leading, private sector Travel & Tourism businesses.The sector is a key driver for investment and economic growth globally. In 2015, Travel & Tourism will contribute US$7.2 trillion or 9.8% of global GDP, once all direct, indirect and induced impacts are taken into account. The sector will account for 284 million jobs, 9.5% of total employment, or one in eleven of all jobs on the planet.WTTC’s annual Global Summit brings together over 800 delegates to discuss the opportunities, challenges and issues facing the industry, while its Tourism for Tomorrow Awards recognise the industry’s power to be a positive force in sustainability.

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Fight against terrorism: EU and all Member States must use all available means to deliver, Parliament says

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 25 marzo 2016

european parliamentThe European Parliament is determined to continue its work on a range of counter-terrorism measures to ensure the safety of EU citizens. Council and Parliament have already worked out agreements on issues such as EUROPOL, cyber security and data transfers for law enforcement purposes. There is a strong political will in the European Parliament to adopt as soon as possible the package agreed with the Council last December, which comprises the EU passenger name record (PNR) system and the Data Protection Regulation and Directive. Parliament therefore urged the Council to accelerate its adoption of the data protection reform to enable the Parliament to adopt the entire package already end of April.Parliament urges member states to step up information-sharing and ensure that all existing legislative instruments are fully implemented and operational.Attending today’s extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs meeting to convey Parliament’s support and sympathy with the Belgian people, Vice-President of the European Parliament Sylvie Guillaume (S&D, FR) said:”Europe will not bow to terrorism. Our unity and determination to uphold our values and rights are only made stronger.European citizens rightly expect concrete action from their governments and the EU to counter terrorism. This must cover every aspect of the threat, from prevention to protection and prosecution, as repeatedly stressed by Parliament. There is no single solution to stop the terrorist threat.There is a strong political will in the European Parliament to adopt as soon as possible the package agreed with the Council last December, which comprises the EU passenger name record (PNR) system and the Data Protection Regulation and Directive. We are just as impatient as the Council to see the laws put onto the statute book. We have repeatedly stressed that the bulk collection of passenger data which the PNR foresees needs to go hand-in-hand with proper data protection standards.Parliament therefore urges the Council to accelerate the timetable for the adoption of the Data Protection reform to enable the Parliament to adopt the package already end of April.It should also be recalled that Parliament shortened the time member states have to implement the new rules from 3 years to 2 years, and that nothing prevents member states from starting to implement the new rules immediately so as to ensure the shortest possible delay before the system is operational. Several have already received funding for it from the Commission.Parliament is also working intensively on a number of security-related files to step up the fight against terrorism, including additional budgets and powers to EUROPOL, Cyber Security, enhancing checks at the external borders, reviewing legislation on firearms, exchanging criminal records and criminalising the preparation of terrorist acts.Parliament urges member states to step up information-sharing and ensure that all existing legislative instruments are fully implemented and operational. Are all Member States using the Schengen Information System systematically? Is the exchange of information between national police forces, the so-called “Prüm” Convention, fully implemented? A clear demonstration of political will and regular monitoring of progress is needed here”, Guillaume concluded.

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