Counter-terrorism policies, measures and instruments in the European Union

Apr 6, 2022 | News

At the request of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), the European Parliament’s Political Affairs and Constitutional Affairs Unit commissioned a comprehensive study to provide background information and policy recommendations on the impact and effectiveness of counter-terrorism policies, measures and instruments in the EU. This is a response to a certain shortcoming of the current systematic, participatory and evaluation review of EU counter-terrorism measures. In addition to mapping the evolution of the structure of EU counter-terrorism policy, this study assesses the impact and effectiveness of EU counter-terrorism policy, focusing on key policy areas. Based on the mapping and examination of the areas covered by this study, the research team provided recommendations that could provide information on future policy developments.

EU counter-terrorism policy is increasingly embedded in many EU policies and involves a wide range of actors. In this context, the gradual expansion of the range of instruments on which this policy is based requires, but also its sensitivity to national sovereignty and its impact on fundamental rights, an overall assessment. While each policy must be subject to independent evaluation, this requirement is all the more necessary in the context of the fight against terrorism, given the above-mentioned sensitivity and impact and the relative ambiguity in which EU counter-terrorism policy has evolved.

The study highlighted some challenges in this area, in particular the extension of the range of freedoms that may be affected and the fact that EU counter-terrorism policy continues to pose significant cohesion problems, in particular due to the gradual expansion of its priorities and growing involvement entities.

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