European ministers outline plans for greater railway security

thalys_train_1European interior and transport ministers reunited in Paris over the weekend to agree to reinforce cooperation and improve cross-border railway security, particularly on international lines. EU Commissioners Dimitris Avramopoulos and Violeta Bulc attended a European Transport and Home Affairs Ministerial meeting on cross-border cooperation against terrorism and for rail security. This meeting was called following the thwarted Amsterdam to Paris Thalys train attack and gathered EU Affairs and Transport Ministers (from Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), as well as Gilles de Kerchove, the EU’s Counter-Terrorism Coordinator. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange experiences and to identify potential additional security measures at national and at European level.
Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said: “We must act together by enhancing transnational and European cooperation. This is the time for us to show we are fully determined to implement the provisions of the European Security Agenda.”
Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said: “The security and safety of passengers is our first priority. But of course we must not overreact. It is essential that, as far as possible, public transport remains open and easily accessible. Security must be proportionate to the threat. The statement adopted will give new impetus for enhancing rail security. The Commission will now work very closely with the EU Member States and industry experts in order to find ways of enhancing cross-border rail security in a proportionate manner.”
The European Commission is speeding up the presentation of initiatives related to detention and to the disabling of weapons.
The swift adoption of the Passenger Name Record Directive will also be essential to detect movements of foreign fighters more efficiently.

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