European Union justice and home affairs ministers have agreed on a proposed EU directive on combating terrorism that they say will strengthen the legal framework for preventing terrorist attacks.
The agreement was reached at a meeting in Brussels on March 11 2016 and will be taken to the European Parliament for negotiations once the Parliament has adopted its position on the proposed changes.
A statement after the EU ministers’ meeting said that the proposed directive strengthens the EU’s legal framework in preventing terrorist attacks by criminalising preparatory acts such as training and travel abroad for terrorist purposes – hence addressing the issue of foreign fighters – as well as aiding and abetting, inciting or attempting such acts.
It also reinforce rules on the rights for the victims of terrorism.
The directive, an update of a 2002 decision by justice and home affairs ministers, criminalises travelling for terrorist purposes, to counter the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters.
It also criminalises the funding, organisation and facilitation of such travels, including through logistical and material support, the provision of firearms and explosives, shelter, means of transportation, services, assets and goods.
The propose directive outlaws receiving training for terrorist purposes, including by providing possibility to investigate and prosecute training activities having the potential to lead to the committing of terrorist offences, and criminalises providing funds to be used to commit terrorist offences and offences related to terrorist groups or terrorist activities.
The statement said that the directive will also complement the current legislation on rights for victims to ensure that victims of terrorism receive immediate access to professional support services providing for physical and psycho-social treatments, as well as information on their rights.
The proposal was put forward in response to a European Council call for accelerated action against terrorism in the aftermath of the November 13 2015 attacks in Paris.
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