European citizens need to feel safe in their countries

Monika Flasikova Benova, Member of the European Parliament for Slovakia

Terrorist attacks which had occurred in different states of European Union (EU) in the past years clearly showed the urgent need to step up in the fight against terrorism, as well as in the field of effective prevention of the threats. Except the strengthening of the mutual cooperation and improvement in sharing of intelligence data between the member states, there is a need for tightening the existing regulations. They must rigorously prosecute all activities related to training, funding and other activities related to terrorism.

European citizens need to feel safe in their countries. On the other hand security cannot become an instrument for spreading of hate and neither advocating any xenophobic or extremist views and opinions. Thousands of European citizens fighting along so called “Dais” in Iraq and Syria, as well as mercenaries in the eastern Ukraine, represent clear risk for Europe. Return of any radicalized individuals is certainly a security issue, which needs prompt and strong response from Member states. Those people have European passports and currently there is really nothing that can stop them from coming back.

The threat represents also very close links between terrorist groups and international organized crime scene. This applies to drug trafficking, human trafficking, trading with human organs, forced prostitution, child abuse and other perversions. Supporters of terrorist groups are trained to commit organized crime. Money is than used to finance terrorist activities. This certainly is a circle that we need to cut very quickly. We cannot leave it, because it only strengthens populists and extremists almost in all European countries. Fight against terrorism and radicalism needs to be number one priority for EU institutions as well as for its Member states, but it also requires deepening of the global cooperation. None of the countries is able to win it alone.

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