Outsourced: The European Union's Reliance on External Actors in the Fight Against Jihadi Terrorism

46 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2018

Date Written: November 27, 2018


When facing pressure to stop terrorism, European governments experiment with (and devote new resources to) new powers if they feel that the current status quo fails to prevent attacks. However, in an effort to react quickly and forcefully to the threat, individual Member States have gone beyond the EU measures and into uncharted legal territory. This Article argues that some of the methods that EU Member States are using in reaction to the security threat posed by the increased incidence of jihadi terrorist attacks within European borders skirt European due process protections without leading to any measurable increase in security. These measures place traditional criminal justice and intelligence collection responsibilities outside of the responsibility of the government concerned. Specifically, the use of temporary exclusion orders, citizenship stripping, and the outsourcing of traditional law enforcement functions to non-European states and private actors risks violating European human rights laws, alienating vulnerable populations, impacting social cohesion, and perpetuating a vicious cycle that reinforces some of the factors that cause European citizens to commit acts of jihadi terrorism to begin with.

This Article addresses the fundamental problems with an increased reliance on these measures. It uses a mixture of legislation, case law, real-world examples, and statistics to paint a picture of the state of the jihadi terrorist threat in Europe in 2017, and highlights a selection of the tools that the EU and its Member States currently have available to counter the threat. The Article goes on to argue that certain new measures being implemented by Member States to combat the terrorist threat should be replaced by measures that both adequately enable law enforcement and intelligence agencies to address the new jihadi terrorist threat but are also designed with respect for the principles of freedom of movement, subsidiarity, proportionality, and due process. These suggested new measures would more fully recognize the importance of social cohesion in effectively reducing jihadi terrorism in an efficient and politically feasible way.

Keywords: Terrorism, European Union, EU, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Police, Counterterrorism

Suggested Citation

Yurechko, Christine, Outsourced: The European Union's Reliance on External Actors in the Fight Against Jihadi Terrorism (November 27, 2018). Columbia Journal of European Law, Vol. 24, No. 3, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3293709

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