EC to announce new solutions for countering terrorism

09 January 2015

The European Commission has announced that it would offer new solutions for countering terrorism in the wake of the deadly terror attack in Paris, France.

Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said yesterday that the body was planning to submit new proposals in a few weeks as any uncalculated move to respond to recent attacks in France might end up with inappropriate results.

EU foreign ministers are expected to convene a meeting in Brussels on 19 January to discuss new counter-terrorism measures which had drawn more attention after the deadly attack on Charlie Hedbo, a satirical magazine in France.

According to a spokesman for the commission the ministers would try to convince the European Parliament to endorse the Passenger Name Record (PNR) system, that allowed members of the block to share data on all air travelers.

The system might be beneficial in tackling those people who flew to Syria and Iraq to join terrorist groups. Many European nationals were currently engaged in terror activities in the two Arab countries and according to security experts the possibility that they might pose serious security risks when they returned to their home countries was high.

Wednesday's attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, left 12 people dead.

"We will present a new programme against terrorism in the coming weeks," Juncker told reporters in the Latvian capital Riga, AFP reported. He however added it was too early to disclose details.

Though Juncker stressed that counter-terrorism was mainly the responsibility of individual member states Juncker said the EC, the EU's executive body, could play an important coordinating role.

Juncker and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini were in Riga to mark the start of Latvia's six-month EU presidency, which started 1 January.

According to officials foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on 19 January and interior ministers gathering in Riga on 28 January would discuss ways to better fight terrorism after the attack.

The Paris attack would also be formally discussed by the European Parliament on Monday.

According to Mogherini, who would chair the foreign ministers' meeting, it was "urgent" to establish a European Passenger Name Record (PNR) system.

According to EU counter-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove tracking passengers was essential for tracing the estimated 3,000 EU citizens who had joined jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq.

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