EURACTIV PR

An easy way of publishing your relevant EU press releases.

EU Counter Terrorism Policy: EPP Group rejects any biased and unfounded concept of evaluation. Ágnes Hankiss MEP

Date

14 Dec 2011

Sections

Justice & Home Affairs

The European Parliament adopted today, with a slight majority - 307 votes in favour, 259 votes against and 54 abstentions - an own-initiative Report by a Dutch Liberal MEP, Sophie In't Veld, bearing the rather ambitious title 'EU counter-terrorism policy: main achievements and future challenges'. "Both the alternative Resolution presented at the last minute by the political left, and the original Report are biased and unfounded. The EU Counter Terrorism Policy is disrespectfully targeted in these documents and as a result, the EPP Group decided to vote against it", said Ágnes Hankiss MEP, EPP Group Spokeswoman on the issue.

"During the year-long preparations in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE), the EPP Group represented a unanimously firm position by expressing its discontent over the tone as well as the subject matter of the Report. In line with the expectations, the political left endorsed the original concept of the Rapporteur by adopting an alternative Resolution. The majority of the EPP Group was united in rejecting both the original Report and the alternative Resolution", said Ágnes Hankiss MEP.

The Hungarian MEP has had a firm opinion and several reservations about the tone of the Report from the beginning. The reservations were twofold: a matter of both principle and practical approach. The Shadow Rapporteur was critical of the tone determined by prejudices, an assumption that counter terrorism simply keeps violating human rights, operates with excessive budgets and exaggerates threats. "These propagandistic assumptions were based on hypotheses for which no evidence was provided by the Rapporteur", underlined Mrs Hankiss.

On the other hand, goals laid down in the Report are hardly feasible in practice, on which the Rapporteur had no intention of reflection. "With data being classified for security reasons, to what extent and on which benchmarks should the proportionality between the cost of a preventive counter terrorism operation and the threat level be assessed? Why does the Rapporteur believe that either Secret Services of Member States or EU security agencies would grant civilians access to their most sensitive data thus putting European security at risk? How could we assess proportionality without the knowledge of these extremely sensitive bits of information? Among others, these were the most important questions that the Resolution failed to address", highlighted Ágnes Hankiss.

"As staunch supporters of transparency and accountability, the EPP Group stands for overseeing counter terrorism policies, within the established competence of designated authorities. Demoralising counter terrorism, especially nowadays, is proof of irresponsible behaviour and thus the EPP Group is not in a position to support a Report reflecting any political campaign jeopardising the security of millions of citizens", emphasised Mrs Hankiss.

"Both the alternative Resolution presented at the last minute by the political left and the original Report - which was to be voted in September 2011 but postponed at the request of the Rapporteur, hoping to find a broader majority for her text - are biased and unfounded. The entire counter terrorism policy of the EU is accused of lacking strategy which obviously is not true as the LIBE Committee in the EP holds an annual exchange of views on the EU Action Plan and strategy prepared by Europol as well as the Counter Terrorism Coordinator and his office. The EU Counter Terrorism Policy is disrespectfully targeted in this Report and, as a result, the EPP Group decided to vote against it", said Ágnes Hankiss MEP.

For further information:

Ágnes HANKISS MEP, Tel: +33-3-3-88-177190

Miklos Panyi, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-473-866137 

Jobs

REHVA - Federation of European Heating & Air Conditioning Associations
Project Communication and Promotion Officer
REHVA - Federation of European Heating & Air Conditioning Associations
Communication Marketing and Promotion Assistant - paid internship -
European Forum of Farm Animal Breeders
Project/policy Communication officer (4-5 days a week)
The European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA)
Community & Market Development Director
European Crop Protection Association
Government Affairs Manager
CEEP - European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing public services
INTERNSHIP IN SOCIAL AFFAIRS
WHITE RESEARCH SRL
Public Affairs & Tenders intern