By Kaylee Greenlee –
European Union officials to increase security at the border, reinforce the police agency, and regulate hate speech and online propaganda after an increase in attacks by extremist groups, the Associated Press reported Friday.
Four people were fatally shot by a man who attempted to join ISIS during an attack on Vienna, Austria, on Nov. 2, the AP reported. The man was fatally shot by law enforcement, though the attack spurred calls to suppress Islamic extremism.
Three people were killed by an extremist at a church in Nice, France, last month, the AP reported. Near Paris, a teenager beheaded his teacher over cartoon caricatures of an Islamic prophet.
“The attacks we have seen, not only in recent weeks, have shown the extent of the threat we face from all forms of terrorism. Only together we can put a stop to the terrorists and their backers,” European Ministers said, the AP reported.
Hate, extremism and terrorism are problems that not only France and Austria face. Unfortunately, they are a major issue across the European Union. We all have to fight against organisations and individuals who hate our values: democracy, the rule of law and freedom of expression. pic.twitter.com/vEeoibmlAv
— Mark Rutte (@MinPres) November 10, 2020
The ministers said “Europe’s foundation will not be shaken by the scourge of violent extremism and terrorism” and that they will “do everything in our power to counter this barbaric terror holistically, with all the instruments at our disposal,” the AP reported.
The ministers said they will “strengthen and further develop options for security measures” within the ID-check free travel area within Europe, the AP reported. Denmark, France and Sweden reportedly reinstated security checks over a year ago in response to “terrorist threats” and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The ministers asked the European Commission to come up with a tougher mandate for Europol, and to increase funding and staff, the AP reported. The ministers advocated for a commission proposal to designate hate speech and incitement as criminal offenses.
The ministers reportedly pressed the European Parliament to finalize negotiations around governing online “terrorist content” to be able to remove a post within an hour of publication, according to the AP.
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