MEPs are asking for “a proper evaluation” of the European Union’s counter-terrorism policy, to ensure that it does not violate civil liberties.
The European Parliament’s civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee yesterday (15 June) adopted a report drafted by Sophie in ’t Veld, a Dutch Liberal MEP. It calls for a review of whether anti-terror measures have led to increased security.
An earlier draft of her report had called for an independent panel of experts to conduct the review, but the centre-right European People’s Party did not support that idea. As a compromise, the main political groups agreed to use a provision under the Lisbon treaty to request that the member states and the European Commission conduct an evaluation. The results of the EU review, if member states and the Commission agree to it, would be presented to the European Parliament and national parliaments.
The committee wants the review to analyse all the EU’s counter-terrorism measures over the past decade and “set out clearly” the results, and the impact they have had on civil liberties. Details of attacks that were successful, failed or were prevented should also be included, say MEPs, and the impact of counter-terrorism policies on the private sector should also be studied.
In ’t Veld and her supporters are increasingly concerned about erosion of civil liberties by measures adopted by member states after the terrorist attacks in the US in 2001 and in Spain and the UK in 2004 and 2005. They complain that not enough is done to ensure the measures are effective in preventing new attacks.