“We were shot at the core of our values of freedom of movement”, stated the Belgian Minister of Justice Koen Geens, while requesting for immediate interoperability of data bases and the full exchange of judicial information “every day”. Geens asked for better use of Schengen information service, as after Paris attacks, it was widely understood how important and valuable joint investigation efforts have been.
On French assistance , Geens suggested it was “very productive in terms of the acceleration of process”. Most important was Geens request to open the internet communication to security checks and stop looking only at traditional communication services such as telephones. We have skype, viber, we need to open the internet”, Geens stressed after the extraordinary EU ministers of interior and justice meeting on justice and security wraped up.
On the Brussels attacks suspect that was expelled from Turkey, Geens underlined that the Belgian authorities were informed after the expulsion took place. “The Dutch government and embassy was told after [his] landing at Schiphol (Amsterdam) and so the suspect could not be detained”. He added to the information available that the suspect had a Belgian ID and that the expulsion took place at the 14th of July.
Commissioner on Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos repeated the full support of the European Commission to Belgium and families of the victims of Brussels attacks, underlining the need for immediate implementation of the decisions that have already been taken. “Every time after attacks we are repeating ourselves. Citizens are tired. They are scared” said Avramopoulos. “National security is the job of member states, but the threat of terror is common, as the response should be common”. Avramopoulos traced the lack of implementation of the decisions cause to “lack of political will, coordination and trust” between the member states. “These horrendous attacks can’t keep being wake up calls forever”.
On actions, Avramopoulos presented the part of the agreement to set up a joint liaison team of experts of the member states that should share information immediately. “We cannot put our data in black boxes”, he added. While there is action in building tools, those are not implemented. “We cannot drag our feet with some pending files”. n Passengers Name Reccords legislation, the Commissioner pointed that “European Parliament has to adopt it”. “Perpetrators were EU citizens, our citizens”, Avramopoulos said as the struggle to deradicalization by fighting terror and hate speech has to be continued. “Working with internet companies on is very crucial”, he concluded.
Dutch minister of the interior Ronald Plasterk, underlined that he fully trusts Europol, appearing confident on future implementation of the decisions the ministers took today. “The attack on Brussels was an attack on Europe and all the values we stand for”, Plasterk stressed.