Terrorism is not a new phenomenon in Europe. It poses a threat to our security, to the values of our democratic societies and to the rights and freedoms of European citizens. Between 2009-2013 there were 1010 failed, foiled or completed attacks carried out in EU member states, in which 38 people died. In addition, several European citizens have been kidnapped or killed by terrorist groups around the world. The phenomenon of fighters from Europe travelling to different locations to fight the jihad, and the security threat they may pose inside the EU when they return, are also likely to persist in the coming years.

Since these threats do not recognise borders, they must be confronted at both a national and international level.

The European Union member states are committed to jointly fighting terrorism and providing for the best possible protection for its citizens. To this end, in 2005 the Council adopted the EU counter-terrorism strategy. The strategy is focused on four main pillars: prevent, protect, pursue and respond. Across these pillars, the strategy recognises the importance of cooperation with third countries and international institutions.

The EU is working to hinder terrorists’ capacity to plan and organise, and to bring these terrorists to justice. To achieve these goals, the EU has focused on strengthening national and international law enforcement and justice capabilities, improving practical cooperation and information exchange between police and judicial authorities, tackling terrorist financing and depriving terrorists of the means by which they mount attacks and communicate.

Building Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Capacity

  • In Pakistan, the IcSP works to improve the ability of Punjabi agencies to successfully investigate, prosecute, convict and detain terrorists, through a project of 1.8 M€, supporting the forensic capacity.
  • In the Sahel region, initially covering Mali, Mauritania and Niger, a 8.7 M€ project, CT SAHEL, aims to strengthen the capacities of law enforcement (police, gendarmerie and garde nationale) and judiciary to fight terrorism and organised crime. The purpose of this project is to support the progressive development of regional and international cooperation against these threats.
  • A new project on law enforcement in the Horn of Africa and Yemen (11 M€) is in the process of being developed for implementation from early 2015.
  • A second new project currently in the formulation stage is a 5 M€ project on deradicalisation in prisons, to be rolled out regionally in South East Asia and in MENA from 2016.

In these two projects, the focus is on both fighting terrorism and organised crime.  Similarly, a number of our initiatives to fight organised crime also contribute to the fight against terrorism.  For more information on the EU’s work in the fight against organised crime under the IcSP, see: www.cocaineroute.eu.

Explore other areas of thematic or geographic activity for the IcSP:

Countering the financing of terrorism
Countering violent extremism
ICSP geographic actions