The Italian minister of Interior, Luciana Lamorgese, went to Brussels to participate in the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council.

The announcement directly came from the Italian Ministry on Dec 2., when it also detailed that while in Brussels, Lamorgese will meet her Danish counterpart, Mattias Tesfaye, in a bilateral meeting. Then, the Italian minister will have a meeting with the new European Commission vice-president, and new Commissioner for Promoting the European way of life, Margaritis Schinas, a Greek citizen.

According to the Council of the ministers of the EU, the Justice and Home Affairs Council is scheduled for Dec. 2 and 3.

On the first day, the Interior ministers of the 28 Member States have at first focused on migration, and more in the specific they discussed the adoption of a European policy on migration and asylum.

On the second part of the day, ministers discussed the new protection measures than can be implemented to benefit the internal security of the EU States, particularly focusing on the reinforcement of the barriers and of the frontiers. On this, more in the specific, the 28 Interior ministers have examined the regulation of border and coast guards that the European Council has adopted on Nov. 4 and that will come into force on Dec. 4.

Finally, at the end of this first day, Lamorgese and her counterparts heard the latest trends and developments on terrorism from the EU’s Counter Terrorism Group, which also recalled the developments in terms of cooperation among Member States in fighting against terrorism.

On this topic, the European Agency of law enforcement cooperation, Europol, revealed in its latest report of trends and the European situation referring to terrorism, that the phenomenon still is and poses a threat for the majority of Member States.

More in the specific, the report announced that in 2018 EU States have reported a total of 129 attacks, including those that have been completed, foiled, and failed. The European countries that have been attacked the most in 2018 are the United Kingdom, with 60 attacks, France, where there have been 30 attacks, and Italy, with 13 attacks.

The jihadist terrorism caused the death of 13 people in the EU, in a total of 7 jihadist attacks. In the previous year, jihadist attacks were 10, so in 2018 there has been a 30% decrease in terms of attacks, and they made 62 people die. In 2018, in addition, EU Member States have foiled 16 attacks. According to data on foreign fighters, Europol reported that the number of European citizens who abandon their countries to move to conflict areas, or those who go back to their home European countries, has been very low in 2018. This is partly due to the fact that in 2018 Europe-based terrorists were more focused on planning attacks within the EU territory.

The right-wing extremist terrorism is the second threat to Europe. More in the specific, Europol reported that right-wing extremism is growing for the third year in a row and that in 2018 these extremists planned an attack in Italy. In addition, many militants have been arrested in the territories of several EU countries.

Extreme-left terrorism also is a factor of concern in Europe. However, this kind of terrorism has only be reported by Greece, Italy, and Spain. These countries have arrested several extreme-left militants in 2018.

Focusing on Italy, Europol announced that Italy arrested 56 terrorists in 2018, 4 of which have been arrested under the accusation of sending funds in Syria. According to the authorities, those funds were obtained partly with spontaneous donations, and partly with the incomes of migrant smuggling from Middle East. According to the investigations, money was directed to a terrorist organization that was active in Syria and was an al-Qaeda’s affiliate. Moreover, a factor of concern in Italy, according to Europol, is radicalization in prisons, where in 2018 authorities registered an increase of the number of detainees who were supporters of the Islamic State.

This article was firstly published on Dec. 2

Jasmine Ceremigna