The European Commission has proposed setting up an emergency crisis center to deal specifically with terrorist attacks in the European Union.
This center would "bring together representatives of all relevant Commission services during an emergency," says the proposal -- one of a series of anti-terrorism measures published by the Commission on Wednesday. It is also proposed that a general rapid alert system, to be named after the multi-eyed Greek God Argus, be set up to link all of the specialized emergencies systems that can be found in the various member states. The Brussels executive also recommends that at least €1 billion ($1.25 billion) a year is spent on research on security in the EU. Energy, communications, health, food and transport are among those "critical infrastructures" that are at increased risk of "catastrophic terrorist attacks." Referring specifically to the biggest terrorist attack on European soil, the Madrid attack in March, the paper says that support to the victims and families of terrorist attacks must be "an integral part of the response." On the financing of terrorism, the Brussels executive suggests stepping up its scrutiny of charities -- an area where it is thought a substantial chunk of the money that eventually ends up in terrorists hands is channelled. The proposals -- four separate communications by the European Commission -- will be presented on Monday to EU justice ministers. However, the Council and the EU's anti-terrorism co-ordinator Gijs de Vries also have to propose measures - which will eventually go to EU leaders for approval. If and when such proposals see the light of day is up to member states. (EUobserver.com)