The security situation in the EU has changed dramatically over the past few years. We have witnessed an escalation of conflicts in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood, faster development and use of new technologies, as well as an increase in radicalisation, which have contributed to evolving criminal and terrorist threats.
Recent terrorist attacks in Europe have claimed many innocent lives. Stockholm, Paris, Berlin, Nice, Manchester, London, Brussels and Barcelona are only a few examples of affected cities. What all of these attacks have in common is that we would have had a greater chance of preventing them had there been deeper, more comprehensive and well-functioning anti-terrorism cooperation among European Member States.
Even though national security is considered to be a domestic competence, cross-border cooperation is key if we are to fight crime and terrorism. Free movement is one of the fundamental principles upon which the EU is founded. It needs to be respected. But with the ability to move freely across borders comes a greater responsibility for Member States to safeguard citizens’ safety and security. A lot of work has already been carried out in order to prevent potential terrorist attacks. However, if we are to be successful, the EU needs to step up its work.
When terrorists and criminals are able to act across borders, national authorities should be able to do so as well.
As a Member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, I work hard to fight and prevent cross-border crime and terrorism. I am representing the Liberal group in the negotiations regarding better, increased and more effective interoperability between EU information systems. In the European Parliament, we are also negotiating new information systems that will make it easier to identify, arrest and prosecute criminals.
Protecting our citizens, our freedom and democratic society requires a comprehensive European agenda in order to do our utmost to prevent future serious crimes. We are stronger when we work together. When terrorists are threatening violence and trying to divide our communities, we need to stand tall together and defend our free, multicultural and open society. Only with stronger cooperation and enforced collaboration will we be able to guarantee freedom and security for all European citizens.