Date: Friday 8 July 2011
Venue: Campus The Hague, Location Stichthage
On Friday 8 July, ICCT organised a Roundtable Expert Meeting on "Preventive Counter-Terrorism Measures and Non-Discrimination in the European Union: A Call for Systematic Evaluation". The Roundtable, took place under Chatham House Rule and by invitation only and was organised in consultation with the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI).
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Madrid and London bombings, an increased focus on preventive counter-terrorism policies has developed across the European Union. Preventive counter-terrorism measures such as counter- and de-radicalisation policies or stop and search practices are attractive, because they imply interventions that remove the ability or even the motivation of (potential) terrorists to carry out their lethal designs. However, even though the majority of prevention focussed counter-terrorism laws, regulations and policies recognises the importance of the rule of law and human rights, it is relevant to examine whether certain measures have had disproportionate effects on ethnic and religious minorities.
The need for greater scrutiny increases as the European Union and its member states seek to support improved understanding and exchange of good practices in preventing terrorism under the Stockholm Programme. At present, few independent assessments of (preventive) counter-terrorism measures in the European Union exist. Recalling the issues that are at stake, including the delegitimisation of counter-terrorism efforts and the violation of non-discrimination standards, this is a shortcoming which deserves to be addressed forthwith.
The Roundtable Expert Meeting focused on preventive counter-terrorism measures in the European Union as well as the assessment of their (possible) discriminatory side-effects. A platform was provided for policymakers, academics, politicians and civil society representatives the (possible) to discuss these matters, with a specific focus on the United Kingdom and The Netherlands. Furthermore, methods and tools for assessing the efficiency of (preventive) counter-terrorism measures were discussed.