UEL Chairman, Mr. Kox: “Fighting terrorism should not undermine the rule of law in Europe”

According to the report and resolution which were presented by UEL Chairman Mr. Kox and received a large majority in the Parliamentary Assembly, the fight against terrorism and the protection of the rule of law are not contradictory, but complementary. The ones, who fight terrorism by restricting human rights, only bring grist to terrorists’ mills.

“Member of the Council of Europe have the right and obligation to protect their citizens against terror, simultaneously, they must also continue to guarantee the basic values ​​of the European Convention on Human Rights; only then terrorism can be overcome”, said Mr. Kox, rapporteur of the report on Combating international terrorism while protecting Council of Europe standards and values.

The resolution notes that the earlier “war on terror” following the attacks in 2001 in the U.S. has been misleading and unhelpful and undermined the framework of international human rights. Therefore it must now be ensured that the basic values ​​and standards of the Council of Europe are guaranteed and that people are protected by the resolution and do not have to pay the double price. Consequently, the resolution calls on the intelligence services to refrain from indiscriminate mass surveillance, which has “proven to be inefficient”, and instead increase inter-collaboration.

The resolution also calls upon all Member States to cut off financial lifelines of international terrorism and arms trafficking by effectively implementing all resolutions and conventions of the United Nations and the Council of Europe on combating the financing of terrorists. According to Mr. Kox, this method is more effective than the further intensification of the military interventions in Iraq and Syria: “The question is whether these actions are compatible with international standards; and so far a combined strategy behind these military interventions appears to be absent”, said Mr. Kox.

According to the memorandum which goes together with the adopted resolution it is better not to conduct military operations but to reach a cease-fire in Syria as fast as possible. Iraq must put an end to the exclusion of large sections of the population. The international community can then provide the necessary funds to both countries in order to win the battle against Da ‘esh.

Europe must tackle the fertile soil that radicalizes some young people and makes them join terrorist movements. “That can especially be done through better education, social policy and a more inclusive society”, said Kox.

The resolution calls on the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to monitor closely which measures are taken in the 47 Member States against terrorism, to examine their proportionality and necessity and report back to PACE. Furthermore, the resolution requests the Venice Commission, to investigate whether the new laws on establishing and extending the state of emergency in France are compatible with the standards of the rule of law.