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Agenda EU-a za borbu protiv terorizma: predviđanje, sprečavanje, zaštita i odgovor

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Opinion Number: CDR 1900/2021
Rapporteur: VANLOUWE Karl
Commission: CIVEX
Status: Adopted
Date: 14/10/2021
 
On the 9 December 2020 the European Commission has published the Communication on A Counter-Terrorism Agenda for the EU: Anticipate, Prevent, Protect, Respond .The communication is part of wider EU action in the area of security, which comprises the new Security Union strategy, presented by the Commission in July 2020.

One of the four pillars of the Counter-Terrorism Agenda for the EU: Anticipate, Prevent, Protect, Respond is ''Promoting security by design and reducing vulnerabilities to protect cities and people''

Under the pillar Protect, the commission will propose to gather cities around an EU Pledge on Urban Security and Resilience and to make funding available to support them in reducing the vulnerabilities of public spaces. Cities which take part in the Pledge will become part of an EU-wide initiative of Cities against Radicalisation and Terrorism, through which the commission will facilitate the sharing of good practices and support projects led by cities and peer-to-peer advisory efforts. The Commission will mobilise all available funding instruments to support the implementation of the Pledge.

The Counter-Terrorism Agenda reaffirms the key role of cities in protection of the public spaces and preventing radicalisation by proposing a EU Pledge on Urban Security and Resilience. The Pledge will set out basic principles and objectives for local authorities in these areas, and will call upon interested cities to sign up to a positive agenda to prevent and counter radicalisation and reduce vulnerabilities in public spaces.

Furthermore, the pillar Prevent, the commission is planning under the initiative “EU Cities against Radicalisation” to foster the strategic dialogues among cities by organising yearly the mayors conference against radicalisation.
In the follow-up report provided by the European Commission (EC) on 15.02.2022, the EC welcomed the support provided by the CoR in its opinion Counter-Terrorism Agenda for the EU: Anticipate, Prevent, Protect, Respond and expressed its commitment to closely involve it as appropriate, in accordance with the CoR's competence, in the EU Pledge on Urban Security and Resilience and the related initiatives.

Regarding the EU Centre of Expertise for Victims of terrorism, the EC is currently reflecting on how to continue funding some of the activities of the EU Centre beyond 2021. Furthermore, the EC has proposed strengthening Europol's mandate and welcomes again the positive opinion, which the CoR has issued in that regard.

The EC will also propose a police cooperation package to improve cross-border cooperation between Member States, and strengthen the link between regional and national police cooperation in that context.

The EC also took note of the CoR's appreciation for the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL's) activities. Moreover, it expressed support for a stronger deployment of EU cohesion policy funds to prevent radicalisation. The use of these funds is Member-State driven, being under the so-called shared management, therefore the EC can focus on raising awareness among Member States on these opportunities. Finally, the EC has welcomed the support of the Committee and has already started engaging in dedicated exchanges with Member States to gradually identify with them the possible scope and nature of such an endeavour.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



 welcomes the Commission's counter-terrorism agenda, which recognises the key role of local and regional authorities, including in the prevention of radicalisation and in the protection of public spaces;

 underlines CoR commitment to continue to play an active role in combating radicalisation, supporting Commission's initiative ''EU Cities Against Radicalisation'' and the Radicalisation Awareness Network;

 calls on the Commission to include the Committee of the Regions as a full partner in the EU Pledge on Urban Security and Resilience and for it to always be consulted on relevant proposals;

 stresses the need for cross-border and cross-sectoral cooperation in combating terrorism, calls for close cooperation between regional and national law enforcement authorities and Europol, highlights the added value of the relevant CEPOL training;

 stresses the added value of the pilot EU Centre of Expertise for Victims of Terrorism, and calls for it to be continued and expanded beyond 2021 in order to carry out further practical work on the ground;

 emphasises that a balance must always be sought between the right to security and physical integrity and other fundamental rights and freedoms;

 points out that local and regional authorities are the most directly confronted with the opportunities and challenges of integration and expects, particularly at that level, support from the Commission to safeguard and strengthen social cohesion, including through its Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion;

 stresses that EU cohesion policy funds can also be used to prevent radicalisation and upgrade public infrastructure through investments aimed at social cohesion, integration and resilience;

 welcomes the Commission's commitment to support the further development of national networks of relevant actors, looks forward to the proposal on setting up an EU Knowledge Hub on prevention of radicalisation which, in addition to disseminating knowledge and expertise, should also promote the optimal use of funding opportunities under the various EU programmes;

 stresses the importance of the Internal Security Fund (ISF) in Europe's fight against terrorism and highlights the need to ensure that the share of funds managed by the Member States reaches all competent national and regional authorities in this field.

Importance

High
Medium
Low
 

Follow-up to the opinion provided by the European Commission

In the follow-up report provided by the European Commission (EC) on 15.02.2022, the EC welcomed the support provided by the CoR in its opinion Counter-Terrorism Agenda for the EU: Anticipate, Prevent, Protect, Respond and expressed its committment to closely involve it as appropriate, in accordance with the CoR's competence, in the EU Pledge on Urban Security and Resilience and the related initiatives. Regarding the EU Centre of Expertise for Victims of terrorism, the EC is currently reflecting on how to continue funding some of the activities of the EU Centre beyond 2021. Furthermore, the EC has proposed to strengthen Europol’s mandate and welcomes again the positive opinion, which the CoR has issued in that regard. The EC will also propose a police cooperation package to improve cross-border cooperation between Member States, and strengthen the link between regional and national police cooperation in that context. The EC also took note of the CoR's appreciation for the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL’s) activities. Moreover, the it expressed support for a stronger deployment of EU cohesion policy funds to prevent radicalisation. The use of these funds is Member-State driven, being under the so-called shared management, therefore the EC can focus on raising awareness among Member States on these opportunities. Finally, the EC has welcomed the support of the Committee and has already started engaging in dedicated exchanges with Member States to gradually identify with them the possible scope and nature of such an endeavour.

 
15 Feb
 

CoR rapporteur meeting with Mr. Philippe Vansteenkiste, Director of Victims-Europe, Association for victims of terrorism, Belgium

On the 2nd of April, the CoR rapporteur met Mr. Mr. Philippe Vansteenkiste, the Director of Victims-Europe, Belgium. Philippe co-founded and is the Director of Victims-Europe, Belgium, an international non-profit organization that seeks to defend the rights of victims of terrorism in Belgium. Philippe’s sister, Fabienne, died during the attack at the Brussels airport in 2016. Previously an employee at the airport Actually, V- Europe represent almost 250 victims of terrorism attacks.

During the meeting, were discussed aspects related to the rights of victims of terrorism, the tools to empower victims to report crime, claim compensation and ultimately recover from consequences of crime.

The Radicalization Awareness Network, through its working group on remembrance of victims of terrorism, presents victims' experiences, contributes to the remembrance of all victims of terrorism, and highlights the human consequences of violent extremism. Victims' rights and support to them are also at the heart of work carried out by the European Network of Associations of Victims of Terrorism, set up by the Commission.

In 2020, the European Commission set up the EU Centre of Expertise for Victims of Terrorism (the EUCVT) to ensure that the EU rules on victims of terrorism are correctly applied. The EUCVT is set up and run by the European Commission with the support of a consortium of victim support associations led by Victim Support Europe.

 
02 Apr
 

CoR rapporteur meeting with the Chief of Police of the HEKLA police zone (former Director Operations of the Federal Special Forces)

On the 1 April the CoR rapporteur on the Counter-Terrorism agenda met Mr. Ivo Vereycken, the Chief of Police of the HEKLA police zone ( former Director Operations of the Federal Special Forces).
The meeting tackled the following topics: prevention of radicalisation at local level, cooperation between all levels in fight against terrorism, the role of artificial intelligence in addressing counterterrorism and the protection of critical infrastructure.The best practice examples were also presented during the meeting.

 
01 Apr
 

CoR rapporteur meeting with Mr. Claudio Galzerano, Head of Department of the European Counter Terrorism Centre, Europol

On the 23 March 2021, the CoR rapporteur on the opinion on the Counter-Terrorism met Claudio Galzerano, Head of Department of the European Counter Terrorism Centre, Europol.
During the meeting were discussed aspects related to the role of the European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC), as operations centre and hub of expertise, in counterring the terrorism.
Furthermore, it were tackled aspects such as: the operational support upon a request from a EU Member State for investigations,the situation of the foreign fighters, online terrorist propaganda and extremism and international cooperation among counter terrorism authorities.

 
23 Mar
 

CoR rapporteur on the Counter-Terrorism agenda meeting with representatives of European Commission, DG HOME.

On the 23 March 2021,in the preaparation of his opinion, the CoR rapporteur on the Counter-Terrorism agenda had a meeting representatives of European Commission, DG HOME. (units dealing with prevention of radicalisation and counter-terrorism).
The Unit prevent of radicalisation, was represented by Yolanda Gallego-Casilda Grau –Head of Unit and the Counter-Terrorism unit was represented by the Martin Schieffer, Head of Unit.
The meeting was focussed on the role of the local and regional authorities in implementing the Protect and Prevent pillars of the Counter Terrorism agenda. Futhermore, some important points discussed were related to the CoR involvement in the EU Pledge on Urban Security and Resilience, setting out basic principles and objectives for local authorities and in the yearly conference of Mayors.

 
23 Mar
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