EU counterterrorism strategy:value added or chimera?
: 4 (2010) 857–873
© 2010 The Author(s). Journal Compilation © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/The Royal Institute of International Aairs
Europe did not wake up to terrorism on 9/11. Terrorism is solidly entrenched inEurope’s past. Throughout its history, many of its member states have experi-enced a wide variety of terrorism—left-wing, right-wing, separatist, social andreligious, domestic as well as international. The main characteristic of the counter-terrorism approach in Europe has been to consider terrorism a crime, to be tackledthrough criminal law. Counterterrorism has long been conned within nationalborders, aside from sporadic ad hoc cooperation in specic cross-border dossiers.In the early 1970s, terrorism slowly entered the realm of the Europeanintegration process.
The rst organized platform for European counterterroristcooperation was TREVI (Terrorisme, Radicalisme, Extrémisme et ViolenceInternationale), created in 1976 by the EU ministers of justice and interior/homeaairs.
Under this intergovernmental umbrella, a working group composedof police and interior ocials of the then ten European Community memberstates dealt with the topics of terrorism, immigration and asylum. The rst tenta-tive common threats assessments were produced, topics such as DNA geneticingerprinting were broached and gradually the scope of the work grew. TheSchengen Agreement of 1985, abolishing all internal borders between partici-pating states in favour of a single external border, though not specically dealingwith terrorism, entailed stepped-up police, judicial and border cooperationthroughout Europe.Under the 1992 Maastricht Treaty the TREVI working groups were reorganizedunder the so-called ‘third pillar’ of the EU that dealt with Justice and Home Aairs(JHA). A new organization was created, the law enforcement agency Europol,which answered the calls of a number of European police chiefs for the creationof a European equivalent of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. Europol
My sincere thanks go to the European and national ocials who were extremely forthcoming in the courseof rening this article, including by their comments on earlier drafts. I am grateful in particular to Gilles deKerchove, EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator; Michèle Coninsx, Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Teamof Eurojust and Vice-President of Eurojust; and Glenn Audenaert, Director of the Federal Judiciary Police,Brussels. Others preferred to remain anonymous for reasons of discretion. All views expressed in this articleare of course the sole responsibility of the author.
Franklin Dehousse and Annabelle Littoz-Monnet, ‘L’Union européenne face au dé du terrorisme’,
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Tony Bunyan, ‘Trevi, Europol and the European state’, in Tony Bunjan,
Statewatching the new Europe