• Facebook
  • Facebook
  • Facebook
  • Facebook

Search This Blog

Visit our new website.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Terrorists: run in fear...

...the EU has published a list of all the things it has done to fight terrorism since the Madrid bombs.

Psychologically interesting that it is a list of micromanaging legislation passed, rather than a list of results actually achieved.

Highlights include:

The Council Decision approving the conclusion of the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident (Hint: you know one has happened because everyone is glowing, and its on the telly)

Guidance on General preparedness and response planning and integration of EU dimension in all national health emergency plans is being prepared (I know the first thing we would be wondering after a massive terrorist attack would be 'how can we mainstream the EU dimension here?')

Some of them have patently got nothing whatever to do with terrorism but have been "tagged" as such so that the EU can be seen to be "doing something". For example the "Directive on Insider Trading and Market Manipulation (Market Abuse) has nothing to do with terrorism whatsoever. And as we pointed out before, the UK Government's own impact assessment helpfully pointed out that it would yield no extra benefits as the UK already had market abuse legislation.

More seriously, so much of what the EU is "doing" on terrorism is just displacement activity. The third directive on money laundering is badged in the report as an anti-terrorism measure. The reality is that (a) mass terrorism does not require lots of money (b) money laundering regulations are almost pathetically easy to circumvent and (c) the third directive (which requires all transactions over €15,000 to be reported to NCIS) simply leads to a mass of bureaucratic reporting - so any "signal" about terrorist activity is lost in the "noise" of millions of false positives. And terrorists (along with everyone else) can still transfer lots of chunks of €14,999 without generating a report. A report for the Corporation of London found that the cost of generating all this useless data is just under £300 million a year.

I could go on and on. Other highlights are

Promotion of the implementation of relevant international norms and legal
instruments, through targeted technical assistance, political dialogue and cooperation
in international and regional organisations. Actions taken to combat
terrorism are balanced against the need to protect individual rights and

Support for the United Nations, including regular contacts and meetings with UN

Woo hoo! And of course, if all that doesn't scare bin laden to death, he can rest safe in the knowledge that if he is ever caught and brought to the EU he could probably sue for abuse of his European human rights...

Htp EU law blog

No comments: