The total number of terrorist attacks and related arrests in the EU significantly increased in 2012

The 2013 EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report published by Europol shows that the total number of terrorist attacks and related arrests in the EU significantly increased in 2012, in contrast to previous years. Internet remains a key facilitator for terrorism-related activities.

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The Commission consults on the insurance options in the context of natural and man-made disasters

The European Commission presented a strategy on adaptation to climate change, and also a Green Paper on insurance in the context of natural and man-made disasters. This public consultation launches a wide debate on the adequacy and availability of existing insurance options.

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The biggest anti-terrorism exercise at EU level takes places within the ATLAS Network framework

The European Commission announced that the 2013 practical exercise, named “Common Challenge” that simulates terrorist attacks in nine different EU member states in different areas of public life, will be carried out on April 17 and 18 by the Atlas Network. This network is an association consisting of special police units of the 27 EU member states working on countering terrorism and criminal acts.

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A report highlights areas where the EU should pay particular attention with regard to the EU's Internal Security

According to the European Commission's annual report on the implementation of the EU's Internal Security Strategy, organised crime and cybercrime, along with trafficking in human beings and the increase in violent extremism are major security threats that the EU continues to face, together with money laundering and corruption.

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MEPs propose to establish a public prosecutor to protect EU financial interests

The Special Committee against Organised Crime in the European Parliament suggested to the EU that it should establish a public prosecutor to protect its financial interests and introduce an EU-wide definition of Mafia-style crime. MEPs' proposal also suggests that all member states should simplify their rules on confiscating criminals' assets.

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Council approved informal agreement on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters

The political agreement reached by the Council and the European Parliament's negotiators was formally adopted by the Council on 8 March. The regulation will apply to protection measures ordered with a view to protecting a person when there exist serious grounds for considering that that person's life, physical or psychological integrity, personal liberty, security or sexual integrity is at risk all over the European Union.

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The Commission proposed to use ICT to speed-up, facilitate and reinforce border check procedures

The European Commission proposed a 'smart border package' that consists of a Registered Traveller Programme (RTP) and an Entry/Exit System (EES) that, according to the EU institution, will simplify life for frequent third country travellers at the Schengen external borders and enhance EU border security.

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EU-wide protection will become a reality to victims of violence

The European Parliament and the Council of Ministers reached a political agreement on a proposal by the European Commission for an EU-wide protection order. The agreement means women who have suffered domestic violence will be able to rely on a restraining order obtained in their home country wherever they are in the EU.

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Tour operators and travel agents will promote the 112 emergency number

The European Commission announced that it reached an agreement with The European Travel Agents' and Tour Operators' Associations (ECTAA) for promoting the pan-European emergency number '112' on their websites, on e-tickets, and at major tourist destinations.

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The Commission proposes new measure to combat money laundering

The European Commission presented two proposals to reinforce the EU's existing rules on anti-money laundering and fund transfers. The two proposals foresee a reinforcement of the sanctioning powers of the competent authorities by introducing for instance a set of minimum principle-based rules to strengthen administrative sanctions and a requirement for them to coordinate actions when dealing with cross-border cases.

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Europol is investigating a suspected extensive criminal network involved in widespread football match-fixing

Europol and police teams from 13 European countries have uncovered an extensive criminal network which involves a total of 425 match officials, club officials, players, and serious criminals, from more than 15 countries, that are suspected of being involved in attempts to fix more than 380 professional football matches.

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Organised crime group responsible for massive VAT fraud in several EU countries dismantled

Europol and over 200 law enforcement officers have dismantled an organised crime group responsible for massive VAT fraud in several EU countries. The joint investigation team arrested 14 suspects and seized €4.8 million in cash, as well as luxury motor vehicles and real estate.

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