Monday 16 January 2017

After Paris, calm decisions needed

Published 22/11/2015 | 02:30

Mourners in Paris, captured by the camera of Lusk photographer Mark Condren
Mourners in Paris, captured by the camera of Lusk photographer Mark Condren

The Paris massacre and related events last week have not only opened the eyes of the public to the threat from Islamic fundamentalists Isil but have forced the governments in Europe to act to protect the safety and welfare of all citizens. In Brussels last Friday, EU interior and justice ministers pledged solidarity with France in the wake of the attacks and agreed a series of new measures on surveillance, border checks and gun control. These measures include fast-tracked new legislation to share air passengers' data, curbs on firearms trafficking and closer checks on EU citizens crossing Europe's external borders.

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At a minimum, these measures must be welcomed, but if more needs to be done then that should be done without hesitation. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, who asked for the crisis meeting, said: "We must be implacable in our determination, we must speed up our action, otherwise Europe will lose its way."

There are those who argue that Europe had already lost its way on the issue of security, although for every atrocity committed, the security services have prevented many others. That said, it is clear that more needs to be done. The commissioner for internal affairs and migration had said the EU executive would propose a common "European intelligence agency" but, questioned later, Dimitris Avramopoulos made clear that was a distant prospect.

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