JHA Council takes place under the dark shadow of the recent depraved terrorist attacks in London and Manchester.
9 June 2017
The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald is meeting her EU counterparts in Luxembourg today (Friday). Ministers discussed the European response to terrorism following the recent attacks in Manchester and London.
The Tánaiste said: “People who carry out these savage and appalling acts in any one EU State are attacking all of us and the fundamental values of freedom that we share. But the responses of the people of London and Manchester shows that terror cannot and will not stop our way of life. The democratic elections that took place in the United Kingdom yesterday are a worthy affront to those who seek to impose their twisted will through murder and mayhem.”
Enhancing information-sharing across Europe and making the best use of the available EU and Interpol resources remains a key priority for Ministers.
“Like many other Member States, we are working hard to ensure best use is made of the existing resources available to us but also to upgrade and accelerate our connectivity to every resource that can help keep us safe. I have committed substantial resources to this."
“The protection of our borders is an absolute priority. My Department and An Garda Síochána continue to progress a broad series of initiatives to strengthen border security. For example, since November 2016 an automated connection to INTERPOL’s Lost and Stolen Travel Documents database was rolled out to all international airports and seaports and passengers are systematically checked against this database.”
“Later this year the Irish immigration authorities will begin to process Advance Passenger Information on flights into the State from outside the EU and preparations are also under way to implement the EU Directive on Passenger Name Records (PNR). These systems will provide further protection for our borders against crime, terrorism and illegal immigration threats.”
Countering radicalisation has been a strong focus of Minister’s efforts over a number of years now and it will remain at the top of the agenda.
“Ireland supports the European Commission’s proposal to establish a High Level Expert Group on Radicalisation to consider further possible actions to be taken to counter radicalisation and also to consider whether and how there might be established at EU-level a more permanent structure or framework to co-ordinate actions to counter radicalisation.”
“Combating online violent radicalisation and the use of the internet by terrorist groups remains another priority area and the EU Internet Forum to counter violent radicalisation has managed a sustained interaction with a number of the global IT and social media companies. This improves partnerships, including with Europol’s Counter Terrorism Centre, in identifying and taking down terrorist content. The Garda Authorities co-operate closely with service providers here.”
"Countering radicalisation will involve a whole of community approach nationally and locally. It requires a criminal justice approach, the strongest legislation and intelligence sharing and a speedy identification of risk factors. Concerns were expressed at the meeting by a number of countries at the speed at which some of those who have perpetrated attacks have been radicalised.”
“The Government is committed to providing all necessary resources to An Garda Síochána to deal with the threats they face, be it terrorism or organised crime. Significant extra funding and resources have been provided in the past year and Government will not be found wanting in responding to any request for additional resources to continue to keep our country safe.”