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Paris attacks: Europe's new reality

Posted by Nick Prag at 19 November 2015, 19:25 CET |
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The attacks in Paris were an attack on our freedoms, an attack against our European values and our way of life, an attack against all of us, said president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz this week. "In our grief, we Europeans stand side to side with the French people."

The terrorist attacks have led to a strong show of solidarity among European partners. It is clear now that these attacks were coordinated across borders, underlining the importance of EU states working together to resist the threats.

MEPs, meeting with Europol and the Commission this week, urged an improvement in information-sharing between Member states and their intelligence services in Europe to prevent further terrorist attacks. There was also a call for the swift adoption of the EU Passenger Name Records proposal on the collection of air passengers' data.

One immediate consequence of the attacks is a bringing forward of proposals to make it more difficult to acquire firearms in the European Union. A revision of the Firearms Directive will make it easier to track legally held firearms, strengthen cooperation between Member States, and ensure that deactivated firearms are rendered inoperable.

There will be other repercussions. However, many are expressing concern that the EU will move to change its approach to the migration crisis. Leading German MEP Elmar Brok has warned against confusing migration and terrorism: "Refugees are the victims of terror, not part of the terror."

Above all, there is a call for proportionality in the response to the terror attacks. Citizens' civil liberties and fundamental rights have also been attacked.

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Nick Prag

Nick Prag

Nick Prag is founder and managing editor of Prior to EUbusiness, he was senior editor at Europe Online SA in Luxembourg, where he played a major part in the launch of Europe Online International.