The EU wants to strengthen its cooperation to fight terrorism

EU interior ministers, meeting in Luxembourg on Thursday, sought to provide answers after the terrorist attacks in Arras and Brussels. They want more exchange of information and accelerate the returns of migrants who represent a security risk.

The Interior Ministers of the European Union met in Luxembourg on Thursday to discuss the consequences of the two terrorist attacks which occurred in less than a week in Europe.

In the days following the attacks carried out by Hamas against Israel, a professor was killed in France, in the town of Arras.

Monday in Brussels, a man shot two Swedes. The attacker, of Tunisian origin, took advantage of gaps in the European asylum system to remain under the radar even though his file was known to the authorities of several countries.

“The man who committed the terrorist crimes in Belgium on Monday evening was expelled from Sweden in 2010 as part of a Dublin procedure. Since then, he has been able to appear in different EU countries,” explains Gunnar Strömmer , Swedish Minister of Justice.

“It also highlights the importance of the Dublin system, border control, an effective returns system and the exchange of information between our member countries.”

Ministers stress the need to combat online radicalization, which served as a catalyst in the last two attacks. They therefore promise more cooperation such as the exchange of information. The 27 also demand more effective controls at the EU’s external borders. Ministers also say they want to speed up the return of illegal migrants to their country of origin. This procedure should even be mandatory if the returned people represent a security threat, according to the European Commission.

“We have done a lot, and already this year we have seen a 20% increase in returnees, which means that we are actually sending back more people today. But there is still a lot to do. It is particularly important to me that those who may pose a threat to the security of our citizens and our Union are immediately forcibly removed,” insists the European Commissioner in charge of Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson.

Faced with the terrorist threat, Italy and Slovenia have reintroduced controls along their land borders. This announcement adds to the numerous exemptions already in place in the Schengen area.

Despite this climate of concern, Spain, which holds the presidency of the Council of the EU, believes that Romania and Bulgaria could join the zone of free movement of people in Europe this year.

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