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Anti-terror measures must not put fundamental rights at risk

New parliamentary committee on terrorism


The European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents has today agreed the draft mandate for a special committee to look at the EU’s response to terrorism. The vote in plenary is expected tomorrow. In the negotiations, the Greens/EFA group ensured that the committee will carefully assess the effects of security measures on fundamental rights.

We need to make sure anti-terror measures don't undermine fundamental rights, says Greens/EFA co-president Ska Keller:

"Member States are not working together as well as they need to in order to prevent terrorist attacks in Europe. The new committee is important for evaluating how cooperation among Member States can be improved. We Greens ensured that the new committee will also carefully assess if security measures have violated fundamental rights. After each terrorist attack, European authorities have been quick to establish ever greater data collection and put under surveillance not only potential terrorists but everybody. This violates citizens’ fundamental rights while failing to make them safer. The committee will have a crucial role in establishing the evidence needed to reverse this dangerous trend. Fundamental rights must not be washed away by efforts to guarantee security. With violent attacks, terrorists try to take away our fundamental rights and freedom, which we should protect and defend.”

We need a new European wide understanding of internal security, says Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts:

“We need to move beyond out-dated ideas of national security. When intelligence agencies limit themselves to thinking only of their own national borders, it undermines the security of everyone. We need a new, European wide understanding of internal security. It will be the task of the committee to find out why national intelligence agencies regularly failed to share information about terrorist suspects with their European neighbours.

"The committee should also carefully assess the efficiency of security measures. Investing hundreds of millions of Euros in excessive data collection measures such as the European entry/exit system is a waste of money. Member States should invest in their local police forces and on measures targeted at specific suspects rather than on the surveillance of all travellers."