MEPs propose to evaluate the EU counter-terrorism policy

The European Parliament adopted a resolution in which asks to assesses properly post 9/11 counter-terrorism measures taken in Europe with regard to their cost, effectiveness, democratic scrutiny and impact on civil liberties. In addition, Parliament asks to the European Commission a map of all existing counter-terrorism policies in Europe and establishes whether these measures are subject to effective democratic scrutiny.

The resolution on EU counter-terrorism policy, which asks for a properly assessment of this policy, was approved with 307 votes in favour, 259 against and 54 abstentions. The text  invites the European Commission to produce a full and detailed evaluation of the counter-terrorism measures taken so far in Europe. This assessment should weigh whether these policies have been based on evidence (and not on assumptions), their effectiveness and impact on civil liberties and fundamental rights. A recent Eurobarometer survey showed that four out of ten EU citizens think that the EU needs better tools to fight terrorism.

According to the MEPs, the assessment which should be carried out by Commission, should draft a full report on all resources spent by the European Union, the EU Member States and private companies on measures with counter-terrorism objectives, directly or indirectly. These would include spending for IT counter-terrorism staff, systems and databases, the protection of fundamental rights and data protection, democracy and the rule of law, funding of counter-terrorism related research, and the development of the relevant EU budget lines since 2001. The Commission should also establish what share of these costs is paid by the private sector and which business sectors benefit from counter-terrorism policies.

On the other hand, MEPs call for special attention to be paid to the victims of terrorism and ask to lay down uniform set of standards for protecting and supporting victims, including witnesses. They add that the Commission should table proposals to protect civil liberties better and enhance the transparency in the context of counter-terrorism measures. With regard to Guantánamo, the text highlights that the EU must help the US to find appropriate ways to close the Guantánamo detention facility and ensure that its prisoners get a fair trial.