EU: Civil liberties concerns over quick decisions on terrorism



The European Commission is today agreeing a package of measures to "improve the European Union's response to terrorism". The proposals will go to a specially-called meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Brussels on Thursday 20 September. A number of proposals are likely to raise civil liberties concerns: the introduction of an EU arrest warrant, changing the rules on extradition within the EU and an EU-wide definition of "terrorism". The definition of "terrorism" is thought cover a group of two or more people committing any act of violence or intimidation designed to alter the social, economic or political structure of a country or state. At present only 5 EU states have specific anti-terrorist legislaation - UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

"Fair Trials Abroad", an organisation seeking to protect the rights of people arrested or charged abroad, has updated its analysis on a number of proposals which are likely to be on the table: Fair Trials Abroad

At the beginning of September the European Parliament adopted a report "on the role of the European Union in combating terrorism" which also covered a number of issues being considered: EP report (pdf file)



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