Eternal vigilance is the price we pay for freedom
We take our everyday freedoms for granted. Freedoms which are now under threat all across Europe. The bombing of the Russian airline, the attacks in Paris and other terror attacks in North Africa and across the Middle East are designed to instil fear and create division between peoples and countries. This weekend in Brussels, a state of alert and a risk never seen before instilled genuine fear in people.
The present crisis requires a political and security response from Europe and the wider international community. There is an arc of instability on Europe's borders stretching from Afghanistan through the Middle East and across much of North Africa. Stabilising the political situation in Syria must be an urgent priority.
Last Tuesday, EU defence ministers invoked Article 42.7 of the Lisbon Treaty, which obliges other member states to provide France with assistance as it faces attack.