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The European Union should introduce legislation to harmonise anti-terror laws in the 28 Member States

Simon Hale-Ross

Reports suggest up to 5000 European Union citizens have joined jihadist militant groups located in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Approximately one in 15 of those returning to their Member State of origin are suspected of involvement in terrorist activities. This serious threat challenging European Unions internal borders is unprecedented, observed following the terrorist attacks in Paris and Copenhagen in 2015, and an earlier attack in 2014 perpetrated by an Islamic State operative.In response, to ensure the safety of their citizens and protect national security some Member States of the European Union have introduced legal measures at port and border controls. Germany is planning new anti-terror legislation aimed at confiscating citizens' identification cards, for a period of three years, and the UK passed legislation allowing for the seizure of passports and travel documents of those suspected of being involved in terrorist activity. Further provision has been created or proposed, introducing temporary exclusion orders lasting for at least two years.In light of the differing laws and measures between the Member States, the European Union must introduce legislation to harmonise anti-terror laws throughout the 28 Member States with regards to port and border controls, safeguarding a balance between individual fundamental human rights protected under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, whilst maintaining public safety and national security.

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