CESI condemns Strasbourg terrorist attacks

At its meeting in Brussels today, the Presidium of CESI issued a statement condemning the terrorist attacks at the Christmas market in Strasbourg earlier this week.

The CESI Presidium vehemently condemns the terrorist attack of December 11 2018 in Strasbourg and offers its deepest sympathy to the families of the victims. It acknowledges the prompt and professional intervention of the French law enforcement officers and expresses its gratitude to the French law enforcement forces for the way they intervened to restore safety and public security in the aftermath of the attack.

According to the Presidium, it is now more important than ever to stand firmly for democracy and fundamental principles of the European Union and to efficiently fight radicalization and terrorism both through preventive and repressive measures while respecting fundamental rights and the rule of law as enshrined by national constitution and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The European Agenda on Security should remain at the core of the approach and more efforts must be made to ensure mutual trust and cooperation between law enforcement authorities both within and among Member States, as mentioned in its 17th Progress Report towards an effective and genuine Security Union, published on the day of the attack. In the report, tackling terrorism is identified as one of the main objectives of the EU.

CESI believes that the way forward should focus on two aspects. Firstly, to make better use of the visible progress made by the adoption of further legislation on the Schengen Information System, the Passenger Name Record and the use of other databases. In this context, it is important to reach agreement on the legislative proposals on the interoperability and exchange of data from EURODAC, the Visa Information System and the European Criminal Records Information System for third country nationals. Secondly, initiatives such as the Radicalisation Awareness Network Centre of Excellence (RAN) should be further supported. In fighting terrorism, the EU´s clear added value lies in efficient cross-border coordination and cooperation of police forces, criminal justice systems and the civil society.

The Presidium recalls CESI´s political demands for more investment in the law enforcement authorities both in terms of human and material resources. Efficient public security requires competent, equipped, well-resourced and motivated law enforcement officers.

The Presidium emphasises the importance of further strengthening mutual trust between EU and national law enforcement and judicial authorities so to strengthen the effectiveness of cross-border cooperation, joint investigation teams (JITS), EUROPOL, EUROJUST and the European Judicial Network. Finally, the Presidium also expresses its support for efforts which aim at the approximation of criminal procedural law and the definition of criminal offenses and sanctions for serious crimes with a cross-border dimension.