Faced with a growing international terrorist threat, the European Union (EU) is playing an ever more ambitious role in counter-terrorism. Even though primary responsibility for combating crime and ensuring security lies with the Member States, the EU provides cooperation, coordination and (to some extent) harmonisation tools, as well as financial support, to address this borderless phenomenon.
EU spending in the area of counter-terrorism has increased over the years and is set to grow in the future, to allow for better cooperation between national law enforcement authorities and enhanced support by the EU bodies in charge of security, such as Europol and eu-LISA.
The action plan to reinforce the fight against the financing of terrorism focuses on two main strands of action: tracing terrorists through financial movements and preventing them from moving funds or other assets and disrupting the sources of revenue used by terrorist organisations, by targeting their capacity to raise funds.
In April the European Parliament adopted a new regulation that will target content such as texts, images, sound recordings or videos, including live transmissions, that incite, solicit or contribute to terrorist offences, provide instructions for such offences or solicit people to participate in a terrorist group. It will also cover material that provides guidance on how to make and use explosives, firearms and other weapons for terrorist purposes.
Hosting service providers will have to remove or disable access to flagged terrorist content in all member states within one hour of receiving a removal order from the competent authority. Member states will adopt rules on penalties, the degree of which will take into account the nature of the breach and the size of company responsible.