Thursday, 19 January 2017
There is no broad consensus amongst the European Parliament political groupings for implementing a European parliamentary committee for the Paris, Brussels and Berlin attacks. The leader of the EPP (the European People’s Party – Right and Centre-Right), Manfred Weber, raised the concept of creating an investigative committee on Monday.
Such a committee’s purpose would be to shed light upon potential shortcomings in cooperation between the national authorities and the European police organisation Europol. It would also table proposals to improve the fight against terrorism.
An agreement concerning Europe’s future was concluded on Tuesday between the EPP and the Liberals of the ADLE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats). This referred to the creation of a specific committee in this field, with a more defined remit than an investigative committee.
The European Conservatives and Reformists group (ECR), which includes the Belgians in the New Flemish Alliance, are also a priori in favour of this.
Helga Stevens commented, “Citizen safety is a central issue for the New Flemish Alliance delegation in the European Parliament. We therefore positively welcome every parliamentary initiative which contributes to strengthening European security.”
Stevens states, “We must, however, satisfy ourselves that this committee acts effectively and does not go beyond its objectives.”
The Socialists and Democrats grouping (S&D, the Left), the second largest group in the assembly, shares the concerns on shortcomings regarding information exchange. It is not, however, convinced that an investigative committee is the best way to solve the problem. The group is waiting henceforth for more information upon the methods of operation for the committee and the committee’s planned mandate.
It has indicated to the EPP that the matter is likely to shortly be discussed again at Presidential conference level, as the committee’s mandate is not yet in development.
The Brussels Times