Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA on combating terrorism: Implementation Appraisal

04-05-2016

EU-level reports available on the implementation of the Framework Decision on Terrorism suggest that the FD provisions have been implemented in the Member States in a broadly satisfactory way. Several concerns remain, however, notably in relation to the adequacy of the current framework in ensuring prosecutions of individual foreign fighters who are self-motivated and travel by themselves. The changing security situation, and developments on the international stage (adoption of UNSCR 2178 (2014) and the CoE Additional Protocol), appear to call for amendments to the Framework Decision. The Commission proposal for a new directive would bring EU legislation in line with the provisions of the above-mentioned UN and CoE documents by broadening the scope of criminalised acts to include inter alia travelling abroad for terrorism and receiving training for terrorism. It is important to note in this context that recent reports stress that Member States have to a large degree already introduced further criminal offenses in their legislation, or are in the process of doing so (especially those Member States from which the majority of FFs originate). The proposal would also go further by requiring Member States to ensure that victims of terrorism are offered protection and assistance. The Commission proposal for a new Directive is not accompanied by an impact assessment. The Commission said this was justified by ‘the urgent need to improve the EU framework to increase security in the light of recent terrorist attacks’. As noted earlier, this approach has been met with criticism. The proposal contains a review clause (Article 26(2)) obliging the Commission to assess the impact and added value of the directive four years after the implementation deadline, and to report on this to the Council and the Parliament. It is to be hoped that this ex-post evaluation will address some of the questions that would have been tackled in an impact assessment. In this light, a more precise wording of Article 26(2) may contribute to a genuine evaluation of the proposed directive along the pre-determined criteria.

EU-level reports available on the implementation of the Framework Decision on Terrorism suggest that the FD provisions have been implemented in the Member States in a broadly satisfactory way. Several concerns remain, however, notably in relation to the adequacy of the current framework in ensuring prosecutions of individual foreign fighters who are self-motivated and travel by themselves. The changing security situation, and developments on the international stage (adoption of UNSCR 2178 (2014) and the CoE Additional Protocol), appear to call for amendments to the Framework Decision. The Commission proposal for a new directive would bring EU legislation in line with the provisions of the above-mentioned UN and CoE documents by broadening the scope of criminalised acts to include inter alia travelling abroad for terrorism and receiving training for terrorism. It is important to note in this context that recent reports stress that Member States have to a large degree already introduced further criminal offenses in their legislation, or are in the process of doing so (especially those Member States from which the majority of FFs originate). The proposal would also go further by requiring Member States to ensure that victims of terrorism are offered protection and assistance. The Commission proposal for a new Directive is not accompanied by an impact assessment. The Commission said this was justified by ‘the urgent need to improve the EU framework to increase security in the light of recent terrorist attacks’. As noted earlier, this approach has been met with criticism. The proposal contains a review clause (Article 26(2)) obliging the Commission to assess the impact and added value of the directive four years after the implementation deadline, and to report on this to the Council and the Parliament. It is to be hoped that this ex-post evaluation will address some of the questions that would have been tackled in an impact assessment. In this light, a more precise wording of Article 26(2) may contribute to a genuine evaluation of the proposed directive along the pre-determined criteria.