EU coordinates its response to terrorism

European Union leaders will be meeting for an emergency Summit in Brussels on Friday 21 September to discuss a coordinated response to the terrorist attacks on the US. On Thursday 20 September, there will be a special Council of EU ministers of justice and the interior.

Several extraordinary meetings will take place this week to discuss Europe’s response to terrorism:

  • French, German, Belgian and Dutch police officers and magistrates are meeting on Monday 17 September to coordinate their anti-terrorist investigations.
  • On Thursday 20 September, EU ministers for Justice and the Interior meet in Brussels to discuss the judicial and home affairs aspects of new the intensified fight against terrorism.
  • On Friday, EU heads of state of the 15 will probably meet in Brussels to discuss further efforts. Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt has started a tour of the EU capitals to prepare for this extraordinary summit. This meeting was not yet officially convened.


At the beginning of September, the European Parliament adopted the own-initiative report by British MEP Graham Watson (ELDR) on the role of the EU in the fight against terrorism. The report asked for the introduction of a European search-and-arrest warrant for combating terrorism, and minimum EU rules on the definition of criminal acts and the penalties applicable in the field of terrorism. It also says the EU should abolish the formal extradition procedure between Member States and apply the principle of mutual recognition of decisions on criminal matters.


European leaders last week expressed their indignation at the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington and promised full support at fighting world-wide terrorism.


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