European countries “need a coordinated and rapid response” to face the terrorist threat, said Emmanuel Macron after a mini-summit by videoconference with several EU leaders, after the attacks in France and Austria.
At this meeting Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen were present.
For the French president, this response must in particular relate to “the development of common databases, the exchange of information or the strengthening of penal policies”, and a “complete and rigorous implementation of the arsenal of measures” that Europe has already acquired.
“We need a common, coordinated and rapid response,” said Emmanuel Macron, who wants to improve security, the work of services between the different countries of the European Union and the fight against radicalization.
The participants spoke in particular of the urgency to act against hatred online, singled out in particular in France at the time of the assassination of Samuel Paty, who was killed for showing his students the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
“The Internet is a space of freedom, our social networks too, but this freedom only exists if there is security and if it is not the refuge of those who flout our values or seek to indoctrinate with ideologies deadly, ”said President Macron.
“The regulation on the removal of terrorist content from the Internet, within one hour, must absolutely be adopted in the coming weeks”, he added, also supporting “the will of the commission to propose beginning December, new legislation to combat the dissemination of hate speech, the so-called DSA directive ”.
The other major focus of discussions will have focused on the Schengen area and the security of the Union’s external borders.
Mark Rutte, Dutch Prime Minister, thus hailed the “particularity” of this space in which people and goods circulate freely. “But we can only preserve it if we focus urgently, urgently on the external borders,” he said.
“It is urgent and crucial to know who is coming in and who is going out,” added German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
This videoconference was organized a week after the jihadist attack in Vienna and after the one in Nice and the beheading of Samuel Paty in France in October.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz spoke of the “thousands of foreign terrorist fighters who either survived the fighting in Syria, Iraq (…) and returned, or who could not leave (…) Many of them are in jail. Some of them are already released and the sad truth is that many of them will be released in the next few years. They are time bombs and if we are to protect all of our freedom, we must restrict the freedom of these people ”.
The Head of State had announced that he wanted to double the control forces at French borders and called for “in-depth” reform of the rules governing the Schengen area of free movement in Europe. Emmanuel Macron said it again during this mini-summit. “We must not in any way confuse the fight against illegal immigration and terrorism. But we must look lucidly at the links which exist between these two phenomena. The Nice attack, unfortunately, is also the illustration”, a- he declared.
The president therefore wishes to “strengthen the security of the external borders of the European Union” and “improve the Schengen evaluation mechanisms”. And to conclude: “To reform Schengen is to allow freedom, in security”.
Emmanuel Macron also denounced “the misuse of the right to asylum” in many European countries. “In all our countries, we are witnessing a misuse of the right of asylum”, which is used “by traffickers”, “networks” or people “coming from countries which are not at war”, he said. he declares.