EU ‘big five’ hold terrorism talks

France, Germany, Italy and Spain have been invited by UK Home Secretary David Blunkett to hold informal talks on terrorism-related issues including border controls and intelligence sharing.

Interior ministers from the EU's five largest countries have
been invited by the UK Home Secretary David Blunkett to an informal
two-day meeting on terrorism in Bakerville (Northern England) on
5-6 July.

Issues to be debated at the meeting include border controls,
police co-operation on DNA and intelligence sharing. David Blunkett
is also said to hope to revive talks over a European co-ordinated
approach to tracking finance for terrorist groups, according to a
report from the BBC.

French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin called for
"stronger coordination and an increased cooperation" on controls at
the EU's external borders, AFP reported. De Villepin added that the
issue was all the more important since the EU's enlargement as it
now has 6,000 km of terrestrial border and 85,000 km of maritime

The UK initiative follows the June European summit where EU
leaders reviewed progress made since their pledge to fight
terrorism after the 11 March bombings in Madrid. They pointed to
key pending measures such as the European Arrest Warrant which is
still to be implemented in all Member States, and set deadlines for
final agreement (see


EU leaders also decided to implement a counter-terrorism task
force within Europol and asked Javier Solana to report on its
implementation in December (see



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