On 30 November 2016, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) confirmed the agreement reached by the Slovak presidency with the European Parliament on the Directive on combatting terrorism. Today, 5 December, the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs also confirmed that agreement. This confirmation paves the way for the final formal adoption of the directive in the coming months.
To respond to the evolving terrorist threat, the Directive strengthens the EU’s legal framework in preventing terrorist attacks by criminalising acts such as receiving training for terrorism and travel for terrorist purposes, as well as organising or facilitating such travel. It also reinforces the rights for the victims of terrorism.
Lucia Žitňanská, minister for Justice of Slovakia said: “The agreement we have reached is the right balance between the need to effectively combat new forms of terrorism – in particular foreign fighters – while at the same time safeguarding individual rights and reinforcing protection and rights of victims of terrorism. However, it is just one side of the story. It is a common understanding between the Parliament, the Council and the Commission that a comprehensive response to the evolving terrorist threat have to include effective measures on prevention of radicalisation and an efficient exchange on information on terrorist offences.”
The Directive strengthens and updates the existing Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA, in particular, as it criminalises:
The Directive will also complement the current legislation on rights for victims of terrorism. In this respect, the compromise text includes a catalogue of services to meet the specific needs of victims of terrorism, such as the right to receive immediate access to professional support services providing medical and psycho-social treatments, or to receive legal or practical advice, as well as assistance with compensation claims. The emergency response mechanisms immediately after an attacks will be also strengthened.
The Directive envisages also enhanced rules for exchange of inormation between the Member States related to terrorist offences gathered in criminal proceedings.