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EU anti-terrorism rules

Missed opportunity as MEPs vote for false solutions

The EU’s justice and home affairs committee today voted on draft EU anti-terrorism laws. The Greens expressed disappointment with the outcome, in particular the adoption of counter-productive provisions to criminalise traveling for criminal purposes. Speaking after the vote, Green home affairs spokesperson Eva Joly said:

"Europe badly needs a common and coherent approach to tackling terrorism but today’s vote represents a missed opportunity to this end. This legislation should have focused on setting out a clear framework, with a precise definition of ‘terrorism’, and appropriate assistance measures for victims of terrorism.

“Instead, today’s vote will create a number of potentially counter-productive false solutions, such as the provision to criminalise the travel. If the link between a suspect and terrorist activities is established, the individual can already be arrested on this basis. Criminalising the travel in itself is a worrying provision, which could lead to arrests without valid grounds.

“Some have attempted to use this legislation as a springboard for curbing freedom of expression on the internet. Thankfully, some of the more restrictive provisions being proposed have been curbed. Measures explicitly targeting encryption tools and networks (like ‘Tor’), considered as “obstacles” to investigations, were finally not included following today’s vote. The Greens will remain vigilant to ensure such measures are not included in the final legislation.”

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