The European Parliament voted on Thursday 15 February to approve the controversial new Directive on combating terrorism, as well as amendments to the Schengen Borders Code that will mean all EU citizens now have to be checked against the Schengen Information System, Interpol’s Lost and Stolen Travel Documents database, and “other relevant databases” whenever they enter or exit the Schengen area.

European Parliament press releases

Preventing terrorism: clampdown on foreign fighters and lone wolves (pdf):

To 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.

Stopping foreign fighters at EU external borders (pdf):

All EU citizens and third country nationals entering or leaving the EU will be systematically checked against databases, e.g. of lost and stolen documents, under a regulation voted on Thursday. The new rules were agreed by Parliament’s negotiators and the Council of Ministers on 5 December 2016.

Critique

Recklessly unclear Terrorism Directive creates significant risks for citizens’ security (EDRi, link):

On 16 February 2017, the European Parliament voted in favour of the EU Directive on combating terrorism. Weak, unclear, ambiguous wording in the Directive presents dangers for the rule of law, the right to privacy and freedom of opinion and expression of people in the European Union …

This is an extract of a publication by Statewatch on 17 February 2017.

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