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New EU strategy proposes a “European Counter Terrorist Centre”

The European Union now has a new Agenda for Security for the period 2015 to 2020. It specifies “three priorities for EU action” — terrorism and radicalization, organized crime, and cybercrime — based on the “level and complexity” of these threats, as evolved since the formulation and release of the previous Security Strategy for 2010 to 2014.

Among the “concrete actions” that are envisioned to address these threats within the EU are the following:

…the Agenda proposes to step up Europol’s role by setting up a European Counter Terrorist Centre as a secure centre for information exchange among national law enforcement authorities, building upon the successful experience of the Cybercrime Centre (EC3). …

To prevent radicalisation online, the Commission will launch an EU-level forum with IT companies to develop tools against terrorist propaganda.

…the Agenda aims to put in place effective measures to “follow the money”, by reinforcing the powers of financial intelligence units to better track the financial dealings of organised crime networks and enhance the powers of competent national authorities to freeze and confiscate illicit assets. 

The next step is for the European Parliament and the European Council to consider and, potentially, endorse the Agenda (which emanates from the European Commission). The previous Strategy was criticized on the ground that, among other things, it failed to incorporate sufficient input from institutional stakeholders.

For more on the new Agenda as whole, see here and here. For further analysis of the new Counter Terrorist Centre, “with limited powers that will not amount to the equivalent of a European FBI,” see here.