EU proposals on 'home-made' terror stuck in pipeline
(BRUSSELS) - EU officials Monday urged a speed-up in efforts to curb sales of firearms and chemical substances such as those apparently used in Norway's bomb and shooting attacks.
Proposals put to European Union leaders were in the pipeline but had failed to win backing up till now, said European Commission spokesman Michele Cercone.
"Compromise is easier to reach after shocking events such as those in Norway," he added.
In September last year, the EU's executive proposed to limit access to chemicals easily available in supermarkets and chemists that can be used to make bombs, as was the case in the London bombings of 2005.
Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said the fertiliser ostensibly used by the Oslo bomber "is one of the most common substances within this area".
Another is hydrogen peroxide, the active substance in hair bleach used in London's deadly summer blasts.
The European Commission proposal sought to ensure the same level of control of such chemicals across the 27-nation bloc to "prevent terrorists and criminals taking advantage of differences in security regimes among EU member states."
It also suggested a ban on the sale of products containing certain chemicals or sale under license.
A proposal to identify and trace the sales of firearms is also in the pipeline. "We hope to get approval of these proposals as soon as possible," Cercone said.
Malmstroem meanwhile recalled that the EU last November launched an initiative listing the battle against radicalisation as one of its top priorities.
The so-called Internal Security Strategy aims to bring together youth leaders, police officers, social workers and researchers to discuss how to cooperate against radicalisation, including on the Internet.
"It is extremely important that we work with preventive measures in order to stop people with extreme ideologies to go from words to action," she said.
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