Europe agrees to make joint laws to stop people joining terrorists

Europe agrees to make joint laws to stop people joining terrorists

European governments have agreed to synchronise their laws to bar citizens from going abroad to fight for Islamic State and other extremists.

A document signed by foreign ministers from the 47-nation Council of Europe requires countries to outlaw specific actions, including intentionally taking part in terrorist groups, receiving terrorist training or travelling abroad for the purpose of engaging in terrorism.

Analysts say European laws vary, with some countries such as France charging people with crimes if they plan to leave to join a violent extremist group, and others, such as in Scandinavia, lacking a legal way to prevent their citizens from becoming foreign fighters.

The measure is a protocol to the Council of Europe’s convention on the prevention of terrorism, which has been signed by 44 of the organisation’s 47 member countries, including all 28 European Union nations except the Czech Republic.

Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary general of the Council of Europe, said the new accord would help national governments take more effective action against a new and growing problem by providing “common legal ground”.

“When, for instance, a foreign fighter or a suspicious person comes to a border, then it will be easier for the police at the border to contact police authorities from countries from which this person is coming,” Mr Jagland said.

Moreover, he said, the agreement will set a uniform standard that makes the intention of taking part in a terrorist act a crime in itself.

More in this Section

Researchers make discovery about Down’s syndromeResearchers make discovery about Down’s syndrome

Johnson sets up clash with Trump by giving Huawei limited 5G role in the UKJohnson sets up clash with Trump by giving Huawei limited 5G role in the UK

Sabbatical scheme offers chance to help Bahamas recover from hurricaneSabbatical scheme offers chance to help Bahamas recover from hurricane

Four more patients given all-clear for coronavirus in ScotlandFour more patients given all-clear for coronavirus in Scotland


Lifestyle

Four graduates tell Siobhan Howe how their fine art degree has influenced their approach to their working life.What use is a degree in fine art? Four graduates answer the question

Terry Gilliam tells Esther McCarthy about the mystery woman who helped him to finally get his Don Quixote film made after 30 yearsTerry Gilliam: Back in the saddle again

Twitch will no longer be the home of esports for Call of Duty, Overwatch and Hearthstone, with those games (and more) going to YouTube instead.Violence in the stream: Big changes for esports

That may say more about how the media treats flaws and beauty than it says about Alicia Keys herself, but nevertheless, it was refreshing at the time to see someone say no to the Hollywood expectations of beauty.The Skin Nerd: Unlocking Alicia Keys’ secrets to gorgeous skin

More From The Irish Examiner