Securing EU Security: Member States Too “Slow” to Counter Terrorist Threats

Written by | Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

The EU will act against member states who do not enact anti-terror legislation – Sir Julian King, who will soon step down from his role as European Commissioner for the Security Union has warned. If, as widely anticipated, the UK leaves the EU on 31 October, Sir King will go down in history as Britain’s last ever EU commissioner. He took a swipe at those countries, without actually naming them, that have been “slow” to enact EU legislation designed to counter the terrorist threat.


“The work does not stop once measures have been approved at EU level,“ said Sir King, adding that „it is vital that they are then implemented by the member states fully and in a timely manner. This is the only way to ensure the full benefits can be enjoyed.” Stressing that „unfortunately, this is not always the case,” he also pointed out that the European Commission’s recent ‚Security Union Progress‘ report “calls out” the member states who have not yet completed the process for various pieces of legislation, including ‚EU Passenger Name Record‘ (PNR) Directive, the Directive on the Control of Acquisition and Possession of Weapons, and the Directive on Combating Terrorism.


“Let me be clear,“ the senior EU official warned, „[that] the Commission will not hesitate to use its powers under the treaties for enforcing EU law, including the launch of infringement procedures where appropriate, as has been illustrated repeatedly in the past few years.” For the PNR directive, for example, Sir King explained that one unnamed member state still needs to notify transposition into national law and another EU country, also not named by him, needs to complete the notification of transposition. This, said King, was despite the launch of EU infringement procedures a year ago. “This is an important message for more recent measures which will need to be implemented in the coming months and years, such as the interoperability regulation.” Ultimately, “our joint work plays an important role in helping keep Europeans safe,” Sir King noted.


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