EU Anti-Terror Strategy Ratified in Secret: Where is the Debate?

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openDemocracy today publishes an exclusive document on the European Union’s anti-terror proposals to be discussed Thursday. Mats Engström’s article alongside it lifts the lid on some of the measures being discussed behind the public’s back in Brussels.

openDemocracy[1] today publishes an exclusive document on the European Union’s anti-terror proposals to be discussed Thursday. Mats Engström’s article alongside it lifts the lid on some of the measures being discussed behind the public’s back in Brussels.

The plans will be decided on at the meeting of EU justice and security ministers in Brussels on 1-2 December. Some of the main points of the proposed strategy, and the action plan for its implementation, have been kept from the public. Secrecy has been put before democracy, Mats Engström says:

“The strategy against radicalization and recruitment to terrorism has been negotiated since the summer and is a key point for the UK presidency. But the documents have not been available to the public or media.”

Key elements of the strategy:

# Limitation of free speech – including ‘incitement to hatred’

# Increased surveillance of the internet

# More control of the media and travel

There are difficult, fundamental principles in question, says Mats Engström –including “how to draw the line between the right to express political views and report them in the media, on one hand, and propaganda directly aimed at promoting acts of terrorism on the other”. But there has been no public debate.

“In member states, governments are in principle forced to make proposals public before parliaments adopt them. This is not so with the Council of Ministers”.

Read Mats Engström’s article and view the full text of the:

"European Union Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism"

Exclusively on openDemocracy.net now: [1 openDemocracy is pioneering a new type of independent media based on exchange and participation. We are read by nearly 200,000 engaged people a month in over a hundred countries worldwide. Our transatlantic audience makes up over 40% of our total readership. Our readers and writers span all continents. We cover the key questions of our time with contributions from renowned authors and marginalised voices.

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