EU to introduce new anti-terrorism database

The EU’s agency for judicial cooperation, Eurojust, has announced that it has just launched a Counter-Terrorism Register in order to streamline the sharing of information between EU countries on potential terror plots.

The Counter-Terrorism Register will be a database of information from countries, including investigations, prosecutions and convictions, as well as ongoing concerns about foreign fighters joining terrorist groups abroad in countries like Syria and Iraq.

This information will be put together in one place to allow for more collaboration between member states. It’s hoped that, as prosecutors will have greater access to information on the suspects, it could prevent new terror attacks in Europe.

At the official launch, Security Union Commissioner Julian King said “The new Counter-Terrorism Register will help judges and prosecutors to proactively establish links between cases to ensure that criminals and terrorists do not go unpunished.”

King noted that, at the moment, around 1300 EU citizens are in Syria and Iraq, and over half of them are children. Eurojust has designed the register to combat the risk of terrorism from Islamic State and from extremist groups in Europe, like the far right and far left.

For years, EU countries have been hesitant when it comes to sharing information about criminal proceedings. The EU suggested the project in 2005; but, it was rejected by national law enforcement bodies who wanted to guard information.

However, since the 2015 attacks in Paris, where terrorists were found to be operating across numerous member states, support for the idea has grown. France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands have proposed registers at Eurojust to collect information about possible terrorist networks and activity for coordination purposes.

Based on these proposals, the register has been established and has the support of the European Commission, the European Parliament’s Anti-Terrorism Special Committee and the EU Anti-Terror Coordinator.

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