One year after the brutal terrorist attack on Paris, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, released a statement on the memory of the victims.
“On 13 November 2015, terrorists arbitrarily and barbarically hit at the heart of Paris, there where we like to meet, exchange, experience life together on café terraces and in restaurants, in a concert venue and next to a stadium,” stressed President Juncker.
“The memory of the victims of that brutal night will remain forever etched in our hearts. They wanted to attack France. But on that tragic night, we Europeans and citizens across the world were all French,” said the Commission President. By attacking Paris, “it was all of Europe, all democracies, which were attacked.”
President Juncker suggests that the terrorists sought to weaken European citizens In Paris, as in Brussels or in Nice, by targeting the innocent, women, children, old and young, of all religions and creeds, in order to weaken the people. “They failed. Because, together and more united than ever before, we will never renounce the very values, the very freedoms we join forces to defend.”
Security has been a constant theme since the beginning of the Juncker Commission’s mandate. In actions, the Commission adopted the European Agenda on Security on 28 April 2015, EU’s response to terrorism and security threats, presenting a 2015-2020 roadmap. “Europe showed that it is determined to pursue this fight, to preserve its democratic, open and plural nature, whilst refusing to compromise when it comes to the security of its citizens,” added President Juncker.
One year after the attacks, “each of those 130 shattered lives, of their families, and of all those who still bear the mental and physical scars of acts of terrorism, and who lead a courageous battle each day to overcome the trauma that has marked them.”
Since August 2016, a special Security portfolio was created by the European Commission, after the previous UK Commissioner Jonathan Hill resigned immediately after Brexit Vote. UK’s new Commissioner Julian King is now responsible for EU’s strategy and to the terrorist threat. The Commissioner will be assisted by a newly appointed Task Force, whose first meeting took place on 22 September 2016. This Task Force includes experts from the Directorates-General for Home Affairs (HOME), Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE), Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) as well as Energy (DG ENER).