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EU Heeds Call To Step Up Terrorism Fight

British Home Secretary Charles Clarke speaks ahead of today's meeting 13 July 2005 -- European Union interior and justice ministers held talks in Brussels today, agreeing to step up the fight against terrorism and implement an antiterrorism action plan before year's end.

In emergency talks called after last week's bombings in London, the EU ministers said they would speed up measures aimed at disrupting terrorists' funding networks. They also vowed to work more closely in sharing intelligence needed in terror investigations.

The ministers said they would further develop the means to pursue terrorists and investigate potential terrorist networks across borders in hopes of preventing any future attacks.

British Home Secretary Charles Clarke said it was important that these steps be taken quickly.

Britain, which now holds the European Union's rotating presidency, had called on the EU to overcome civil liberties concerns and agree on new antiterrorism measures.

Prior to chairing the extraordinary meeting, Clarke said the London attacks prove the urgency to enact long-pending antiterrorism security measures, some of which were recently blocked by European lawmakers.

Clarke also told the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties -- the LIBE -- in Brussels the same day that living without the fear of terrorist attacks should be a recognized human right.

The ministers also agreed to hold two minutes of silence at midday tomorrow to honor the victims of last week's attack in London.


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