Bearing in mind that:
The violent terrorist attacks of the last two years in the European Union and beyond confirm that European societies are facing a considerable and unprecedented threat putting Europe's values, based on on human rights, democracy, the rule of law, tolerance and religious diversity under pressure. In particular, the recent Paris and Brussels terrorist attacks, through their violence and collective murders, were clearly intended to embody an extremist ideology aimed at the destruction of Europe.
In addition, this relatively new and complex multifaceted phenomenon of extreme violence and radicalisation also demonstrates the weakness of national policies and strategies on internal security and raises the need for further action and cooperation at the European level. In fact, the lack of coordination and trust among Member States' national authorities in charge of internal security, the absence of a global security approach combining internal and external dimensions and ensuring coherence between Justice and Home Affairs and the Common Security and Defence Policy, and the inability to prevent and protect, all reinforce the feeling of insecurity and lack of confidence among EU citizens. They provide an arena for the proliferation of populist xenophobic and islamophobic behaviours. It is now urgent and crucial for the European Union and its Member States to rethink their whole strategy on security, setting forward clear political priorities for an ambitious and common internal security policy.
It is commonly accepted that there is no such fundamental right as a "right to security", which has to be understood as a right to protection against terrorist threats. Freedom and security are interdependent and challenging policy objectives in constantly changing and globalising societies.
At the European level, one of the key objectives of the European Union is to make sure that individuals living in an area of freedom, security and justice enjoy the freedoms guaranteed by the Treaties and make full use of their rights to live, study, work and do business in any Member State. Whilst according to the Lisbon treaty responsibility for security lies primarily with Member States, it is commonly agreed that terrorism and transnational threats know no borders and therefore cannot be addressed effectively without a commonly agreed European strategy and policy.
In April 2015, the European Commission presented a European Agenda on Security identifying terrorism, organised crime and cybercrime as the main priority areas for strong operational cooperation among EU Member States based on mutual trust and suggesting concrete measures and better information exchange at all levels. A year later, significant progress has been made in the implementation of the European Agenda on Security, as key priories have been reinforced by the adoption of the PNR proposal, the adoption of Action Plan on firearms and explosives, the strengthening of the fight against terrorism financing and the proposed strategy for stronger and smarter information systems for Borders and Security.
However, despite the initiatives and the measures taken until now at the EU level for improving coordination between Member States, the recent attacks in Brussels urge the European Union to develop a more ambitious European policy on internal security, ensuring the right level of security for all people living in Europe and deepening efforts against terrorism and radicalisation.
the Congress of the Union of European Federalists, meeting in Strasbourg on 11-12 June 2016 commits itself to taking all necessary actions at its level:
to recall that the European Union's approach and strategy on internal security shall be based on common democratic values, including the rule of law, and must respect and promote fundamental rights in line with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Transparency, accountability and democratic control are the key elements for reinforcing trust among citizens and promoting the wider political dialogue which is now needed in all European societies;
to urge the European Union to set up an ambitious, multi-disciplinary and holistic internal security policy based on mutual trust, reinforce the links and synergies with the Common Security and Defence policy, establish a common intelligence service and develop operational cooperation arrangements and assistance mechanisms in particular during crisis and emergencies;
to support the development of a comprehensive and well balanced anti-radicalisation policy, giving priority to preventing actions, improving situation in prisons, promoting de-radicalisation programmes, education and inter-cultural dialogue, fighting hate speech (on- and off-line) and financially supporting the quick implementation of all the actions decided;
to underline the need for strong and reliable inter-agency (Frontex, Europol, Eurojust, CEPOL) and cross-sectorial cooperation, improving the interoperability of databases and information systems;
to develop concrete initiatives in the area of Criminal Justice, strengthening and harmonizing terrorism-related offenses and completing the revision of the legal framework on acquisition of weapons, on fighting terrorist financing, protecting critical infrastructure and supporting research initiatives and future technological projects;
to promote security dialogues and cooperation with neighbouring countries and other targeted priority third countries, further developing and actively promoting best practices on global security and fighting against terrorism within multilateral forums.
12 July, 2016
Resolution supporting the establishment of a European internal policy and enhancing a common strategy fighting radicalisation
Adopted by the Federal Committee following the UEF XXV European Congress, Strasbourg, 12 June 2016.