Blog AnalysisPolice Terrorism

Terrorism. Europe is in battle order, dispersed

(B2 archives*) The 25 interior ministers of the European Union will find several proposals on the table today. The emotion of the first moments seems to have passed, after the attacks in Madrid. And old “bad” habits take over again

A super-file of terrorist organizations and their members, a central body ensuring the exchange of information, traceability and control of weapons of terror, lists of those banned from residence established without the right of veto... Here are some of the measures what the European Commission must propose today to the 25 interior ministers, meeting in a special session in Brussels. All of which is completed by a declaration of solidarity, a modern version of “ one for all! All for one » by D'Artagnan. Each State committing to do everything to “ prevent terrorism on its territory " and " to attend » whichever of them would be the victim of a terrorist act. Provisions which do not quite arouse unanimous enthusiasm. It's the least we can say.


During the meeting of ambassadors, which continued into the evening yesterday, differences of opinion were quick to resurface. Thus several States – France and Germany in particular – are not “ very, very hot », as one diplomat indicates, to the idea of ​​creating even the embryo of a European intelligence agency. So… the European CIA – which some dream of – is not for tomorrow!

At the heart of sovereignty

A logical reaction for Anne Weyembergh, an academic specializing in criminal cooperation. " We are here at the heart of national sovereignty. In this reserved sector, the resistance of the States is numerous. » On the implementation of new measures, this researcher at the Institute of European Studies in Brussels remains skeptical. “ Above all, all the texts adopted should be applied, all the instruments already in place should function properly ". Today, in fact, explains Anne Weyembergh “ decisions in criminal matters are decided unanimously. It only takes one country not to agree to block. Agreement is thus made on the lowest common denominator. Clearly, the least ambitious measure.

Slow transpose

Ministers, once returned to their capital, generally take their time to apply it “ Transposition is generally slow, when it is not imperfect ". The reason for this laxity? " It is very simple » replies the academic, “There is no sanction. Unlike the internal market, the Commission cannot issue warnings to recalcitrant parties or have them condemned by the Court of Justice ". In fact, it’s the bonus for bad students… “ It is necessary to wait for a major disaster, for the States to decide to move », « The best action to take – she concludes – would be to adopt the European Constitution because it makes it possible to sanction states that drag their feet ". Will Europe be able to equip itself with the means to achieve its ambitions?

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde) – published in France-Soir, March 2004

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).