Europe is currently facing the most significant terrorist threat in over 10 years. The Paris attacks on 13 November 2015 indicate a shift towards a clear international dimension of Islamic State to carry out special forces style attacks in the international environment. This and the growing number of foreign fighters are posing new challenges for EU Member States. The threat of further terrorist attacks in Europe remains high. Therefore there is a great need within the European Union to strengthen our response to terror, to suspected terrorist networks and foreign fighters, and have an improved strategic understanding of threats.
The launch of the ECTC as of January 2016 followed a decision from the EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers last November. ECTC will be an enhanced central information hub by which the Member States can increase information sharing and operational coordination.
The new ECTC has been set up within the current organisational structure of HSD partner Europol in the Hague, also where the HSD campus is located. The center has reinforced the position of the Hague as a city of peace, law and justice. Europol is playing an important part in the European response to terrorist threats.
“The ECTC will improve the exchange of information between law enforcement agencies. This is the kind of cooperation Europe needs in the fight against organized crime and terrorism”, said Ard van der Steur, Minister of Security and Justice of the Netherlands, currently holding the presidency of the Council of the EU.
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