Meeting Terrorism Head On

Politicians know full well the impact of terrorism in Europe. They’ve faced it for years, if not decades, and now the European Union is proposing tougher measures for all non-EU travelers entering and leaving countries in the 27-member bloc. This will include fingerprints and other biometric data.

EU officials have talked about an idea to study whether to introduce an electronic traveler authorization system where all air travelers to the European Union would be required to register personal data on an Internet site before departure. Australia already has a similar program in place.

The EU member nations would accomplish the screening process in their home countries by screening and interviewing travelers at an EU consulate at home.

The European Union plan will supplement that which has been adopted by the United States anti-terrorism plan. The EU plan also calls for European authorities to collect from the airlines 19 pieces of personal information, including names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and passport numbers. The information is stored for 13 years.

The plan is a good, solid plan to battle terrorists and terrorism, which remains the No. 1 threat. The EU proposal has measures that aim to increase the capacity of the EU to protect its external borders.

The proposal now needs to be approved by all EU members, and could, in fact, face an uphill battle, amid growing concerns the governments are sacrificing civil liberties in the face of terrorism.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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