The European Commission on April 17 announced additional steps to further curtail the space in which terrorists and criminals operate – denying them the means needed to plan, finance and carry out crimes. The measures proposed are aimed to bolster the security of identity cards and reduce document fraud.

Other measures proposed will provide law enforcement and judicial authorities with access to financial information. Also, terrorists’ access to explosives precursors will be restricted and controls on the import and export of firearms will be strengthened.

“Security has been a top priority of this Commission from day one,” said First Vice-President Frans Timmermans. “We continue to support Member States’ efforts to better protect our citizens and safeguard their freedoms. And today, we are stepping up our actions to deprive criminals and terrorists of the tools and resources they need to perpetrate their crimes – delivering on our commitment to a Union that protects.”

In turn, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: “Today we take action to restrict explosives precursors and firearms, to step up the security of ID cards, and introduce measures to help law enforcement access information they need to fight crime and terrorism. This is how we move closer to a genuine and effective Security Union.”

According to Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King, giving law enforcement access to crucial pieces of financial information will close another loophole being exploited by terrorists. “Together with facilitating easier gathering of electronic evidence, tightening controls on firearms and explosives precursors and strengthening the security of ID cards, we are further squeezing the space in which terrorists operate.”

The new measures announced by the Commission come six months after the anti-terrorism package of October 2017.