French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday urged his European partners to fight in a more effective and coordinated way against the terrorist threat, following the recent Islamist attacks in France and Austria. “Terrorism is a European reality to which we must provide a common, coordinated and rapid response,” he warned.
The Gallic leader received the Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, at the Elysee Palace to coordinate this community response to the radical threat. After their meeting, the two leaders participated in a European mini-summit by videoconference with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the President of the EC, Ursula von der Leyen . All of them agreed on the urgency of reinforcing the borders and making the internet quickly remove every message of radicalization that is posted on the networks.
The Dutchman recalled that “hatred, extremism and terrorism are problems that not only France and Austria face.” Rutte advocated in this sense to “fight against organizations and individuals who hate our values: democracy, the rule of law and freedom of expression. It is not a conflict between Christians and Muslims or between Europeans and immigrants. It is a struggle between civilization and barbarism ».
The Nice attack
The French president, for his part, insisted on thoroughly reforming the Schengen area “to make it an area of free movement (of people), but also of security.” Leaders believe that the EU’s external borders need to be better protected. “It is crucial to know who comes in and who comes out,” Merkel said.
Macron urged better implement ‘the arsenal of measures’ that Europe already has: from the development of common databases to greater cooperation between the police of the member states. “The fight against illegal immigration and against terrorism should not be confused, but we must look very lucidly at the links that exist between these two phenomena. The Nice attack, unfortunately, illustrates this, “he added.
European leaders also agreed on the need to better fight hate and radicalization messages on social media. Thus, the French president announced that the EU regulation to force companies with web pages to remove terrorist content within an hour will be adopted “in the coming weeks.” «Internet is an area of freedom. But this freedom does not exist if there is no security, “he added.