EU ministers call for closer security cooperation

BRUSSELS, March 24 (KUNA) — EU interior and justice ministers began an emergency meeting Thursday afternoon in the aftermath of Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels to discuss the actual state of play in the fight against terrorism.
“It is the moment to pass from words into action. The safety of our citizens is at stake,” EU Commissioner for home affairs and migration, Dimitirs Avramopoulos, told reporters ahead of the meeting.
He said he hoped that the outcome of today’s meeting will open the door for more deeper security cooperation among the 28 EU member states.
“It is the moment to deepen and foster trust among all of us. Today I believe we are going to take some very, very important and decisive decisions for the future,” he said and called on all the EU member stated to implement the European Strategy on Security adopted last year.
On his part, Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, said “I think it is important that ministers talk to each other and exchange information more than they have been doing so far and to speed up some of the proposals that we have put on the table.” Dutch interior minister Ronald Plasterk, whose country holds the current EU Presidency, said that “since terrorism is international it is absolutely vital that within Europe we stand together and we fight terrorism and share information.” “After the horrific attacks in Paris (last November) a new set of plans have been made and what we need to do today is to make sure that those are indeed implemented. We will spend the afternoon doing that. A complete set of data and the way this is shared by police, by information services, by intelligence services,” he added. Austrian interior minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner, said “this ministerial meeting is a signal that EU ministers stand together in the fight against terrorism. It is important that decisions taken will be implemented immediately.” Theresa May, British Secretary of State for the Home Department said “Daesh seeks to divide us and harm our ways of life, and the UK stands ready to support Belgium in any way it can to unite to defeat these terrorists. (end) nk.nfm