Terrorism: Treaty of Lisbon and European Union Counter-terrorism

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION

Before we start to discuss the counter-terrorism strategies of European Union, we have to first answer the question: “What is terrorism?” or “How exactly can be terrorism defined?” When answering this question we will encounter two “problems”. Firstly, it is not straightforward to define this worldwide-known term because of its complexity of relating criminal, unlawful activities and there is no universal definition of terrorism. And secondly, there are as many definitions as many scholarly publications, governmental or non-governmental institutions. For instance, the FBI defined the terrorism in the Code of Federal Regulations as follows “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85).

At the international level was terrorism adjudged as:

Criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or aninternational organization to do or to abstain from doing any act, which constitute offences within the scope of and as defined in the international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, are under no circumstances justifiable by considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other similar nature (UN Security council Resolution 1566, 2004, art. 2).

And at European level are terrorist offences precisely defined as: offences under national law, which, given their nature or context, may seriously damage a country or an international organisation where committed with the aim of seriously intimidating a population, or unduly compelling a Government or international organisation to perform or abstain from performing any act, or seriously destabilising or destroying the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a country or an international organisation (Council Framework Decision on combating terrorism, 2002, art. 1 clause 1) Now that we have a better idea of what the world imagines when the word ‘terrorism’ is said, we can focus our interest on the main queries of our report: “What are the European Union counter-terrorism strategies and how effective are they?” However, when trying to find an answer to these questions, we come across numerous other questions. Some of them would, for example, be: “What strategies are being implemented by the European Union?”, “What are the goals of these strategies?”, “Are those goals being achieved?”, “What are all the negative impacts of terrorism?”. Obviously, people die or get severely injured but we also have to consider the impact on everyday life, as changes are made in airport and other policies, general fear of people is raised, etc.

METHODS
While conducting this research we used various methods and numerous different sources of information. We focused on the European Union in our query and in our report. However, this problem cannot be isolated only for the Union and its member states because it is a global problem. Therefore, the publications we used also considered the events of September 11, 2001 and others.

Desk research:
We used this technique to immerse into this phenomenon and to collect necessary data, background information, opinions and the framework decisions undertaken by the European Union and other international governmental and non-governmental agencies. The informational basis of our report lies mainly in acknowledged book publications from experts and stakeholders of this field. The university library provided us not only with quality book publications, but also with resources such as...
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