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EU counter-terrorism efforts shoulder heavy responsibilities

Editor: Tong Xinxin 丨CCTV.com

01-29-2016 16:15 BJT

By Ren Junhua, professor of Party School of the Central Committee of C.P.C
 
The European Union law enforcement agency (Europol) has announced the creation of a European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC), which aims to boost cooperation among EU member states and focus on tackling foreign-born Islamist extremists, by sharing intelligence and expertise to combat online terrorist propaganda, and illegal arms trafficking.


Europol Director Rob Wainwright said Europe is suffering from the most severe terrorist threats over the past decade and the ECTC will significantly reinforce Europol's counter-terrorism capabilities.
 
The initiative follows the Paris attacks in November of 2015, which killed at least 130 people and wounded hundreds more, while the “Islamic State” claimed responsibility.
 
EU countries have enhanced anti-terrorist activities and domestic security measures. Europe must face up to huge challenges, while the ECTC shoulders heavy responsibilities.
 
Immigration problem

There are at least 30 million, mainly Muslim, immigrants flooding into Europe.

Many European "volunteers" have joined the rising "Islamic State." Wainwright said that some 5,000 European nationals had gone to fight alongside militant groups in Syria and Iraq, which mean they pose significant threats upon returning to their home countries.

Statistics show that more than 1,000 such terrorists have returned to France from Syria, while several hundreds of them have been back to Germany. It is hard to recognize them by appearance and language. Returned European terrorists are like "time-bombs" and "seeds" to spread extremism all over the continent. 
 
Refugee crisis

Europe has been experiencing the worst refugee crisis, since the end of the Second World War. More than 500,000 refugees have flocked to Europe in 2015.  It is estimated that millions of refugees will come to Europe in the next couple of years.

Security problems, related to refugees, had already frequently taken place in Germany, including widespread sexual assaults in Cologne, which has pushed the refugee crisis into hot-button issues in Europe.

Borderless problem

The Schengen Agreement, introduced in 1985, stipulates that citizens of signatory states should be exempted from border checks and can freely go to "Schengen-declared territory."  Accordingly, it is convenient for traveling terrorists to commit crimes all over Europe.

The number one target for terrorist attacks was the United States. However, after the 9/11 incident, Washington adopted strict security measures.  Terrorists started to focus on Europe. It is not easy to strengthen management of the Schengen boundary.
 
The deep reason is incompatibility of different religions, and a "clash of civilizations."  The EU should implement concrete anti-terrorism and prevention measures.

It’s crucial to eliminate Islamist radicalism by cooperating with the third country and adopting relevant policies on education, employment, justice to strengthen social cohesion for refugees to live in greater harmony within European borders.

 

( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

 

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


 

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