EU foreign ministers to adopt further counter-terrorism measures

The foreign ministers of the 15 EU Member
States, meeting in Brussels on Monday, 8 October, are expected
to pass further counter-terrorism measures. The Belgian
Presidency of the Union plans to issue a political statement
confirming the EU’s determination to play its full role in the
global anti-terrorism campaign.

On Monday, the ministers are expected to adopt a regulation
that will enable EU Member States to immediately freeze
terrorist accounts across Europe and restrict the financing
of terrorism. The proposed regulation contains a
preliminary list of 27 Islamic organisations and
individuals potentially involved in the 11 September
attacks in the US, and could be subsequently expanded.

However, most Member States would prefer
to use Article 301 that allows the EU to interrupt economic
relations with third countries.

The majority of Member States hope that
the United Nations Sanctions Committee will have reached a
conclusion on the freezing of terrorist assets, making the
Commission proposal redundant.

Several Member States, notably Britain,
France and Germany have already frozen terrorist accounts,
following the example of the US.

 

Background

The EU has already passed a number of unprecedented
measures to combat terrorism following the 11 September
attacks by Islamic militants on New York and Washington.
The measures include strengthening Europol for the
counter-terrorism fight, judicial and police co-operation,
exchange of intelligence, increased co-operation with the
US and improving air safety.

 

Timeline

The Belgian Presidency has called a number of extraordinary
ministerial meetings in the days before the summit of Ghent
on 19 October. The foreign ministers are scheduled to meet
again 17 October in order to co-ordinate further
counter-terrorism measures. The ministers of finance,
economy, justice and home affairs are scheduled to meet on
16 October in order to prepare measures, such as the
European arrest warrant.

A so-called European Conference will
take place in Brussels on 20 October, bringing together the
leaders of the EU, the 13 candidate countries, EFTA and the
Balkan countries involved in the stabilisation process. The
Presidency has also invited the Russian Federation, Ukraine
and Moldavia to this conference, dedicated to the fight
against terrorism.

 

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