A Counter-Terrorism Register (CTR) has been launched at Eurojust to reinforce the judicial response in Member States to terrorist threats and to improve security for citizens. The CTR, which entered into force on 1 September, centralises key judicial information to establish links in proceedings against suspects of terrorist offences. The CTR is managed by Eurojust in The Hague on a 24-hour basis and provides proactive support to national judicial authorities. This centralised information will help prosecutors to coordinate more actively and to identify the suspects or networks that are being investigated in specific cases with potential cross-border implications.
European Commission, the Special Committee on Terrorism of the European Parliament and the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator. The international and multilateral dimension of the fight against terrorism and the importance of information sharing have been demonstrated in the growing number of ongoing judicial proceedings of which Eurojust is informed, amounting to 580 in 2018.
Based on Council Decision 2005/671/JHA, a register has now been set up, with the support of the Eurojust President Mr Ladislav Hamran said: ‘The Counter-Terrorism Register is a major step forward in the fight against terrorism. Now that terrorists operate more and more in cross-border networks, the EU must do the same. By providing swift feedback on cross-border links between judicial proceedings, we can better coordinate and speed up actions against suspects of terrorist activities. Having the right information is of essential importance to combat terrorism and will reinforce the EU as an area of justice and security.’
Mr Frédéric Baab, until recently French National Member at Eurojust and initiator of the Counter-Terrorism Register, stated: ‘In fighting terrorism, we must avoid all blind spots. The experience that we have gained in the case related to the terrorist attacks in Paris and Saint-Denis on 13 November 2015 has shown the necessity of having a complete overview of all the ongoing judicial proceedings in the Member States. With the Counter-Terrorism Register at Eurojust, we will have the tool that we need at operational level to support the coordination of investigations in terrorism cases.’
Following the terrorist attacks in France in Paris and Saint-Denis in November 2015, crossborder links between suspects were immediately detected. France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands subsequently took the initiative to set up a register at Eurojust to collect judicial information on terrorist activities and networks and identify coordination needs.
Based on Council Decision 2005/671/JHA, a register has now been set up, with the support of the European Commission, the Special Committee on Terrorism of the European Parliament and the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator. The international and multilateral dimension of the fight against terrorism and the importance of information sharing have been demonstrated in the growing number of ongoing judicial proceedings of which Eurojust is informed, amounting to 580 in 2018.
All Member States can use the CTR and are asked to register information on suspects and cases this month. A special template has been developed and common standards on the information that needs to be provided have been agreed upon, ensuring compliance with all existing data protection rules. The information for the register will be provided to Eurojust by the competent national authorities.
The CTR is a unique EU-wide database for all kinds of terrorist acts, also addressing the evolving threat from non-jihadist terrorism, including extreme right- and left-wing groups in Europe. The CTR focuses entirely on judicial proceedings and convictions and therefore will not overlap with the criminal analysis carried out by Europol.
Illustration and video © Eurojust