Antonio Tajani, the President of the European Parliament, had a few things to say in Catania, where he visited the regional Frontex task force and answered questions by reporters.
“I have proposed a European FBI to complement Europol”, he said, lamenting that the lack of cooperation between police agencies made it harder for law enforcement to prevent attacks like the one that struck Barcelona. According to Tajani, the judiciary, law enforcement and intelligence services need to coordinate their efforts to counter extremism, recruitment, and the execution of terrorist attacks. He then lamented that the lack of cooperation between Member States prevents coordinated initiatives against a common threat.
“I believe we need a European FBI. It makes no sense that each Member State should stick to its little secrets. The enemy is global, and requires integrated responses.”
Europol currently cooperates with other police agencies – but not with intelligence services, and counter terrorism cannot happen without intelligence sharing, especially when the area of free movement, that is Schengen, transcends the jurisdictions of the Member States.
Tajani had more controversial proposals, such as limiting the opening hours of mosques to make them accessible for prayers only, to thwart their potential as places of recruitment and indoctrination. Further, he suggested that a European federal framework on citizenship should be developed to prevent Member States such as Italy to approve ius soli citizenship laws.
“When a person acquires Italian citizenship, maybe through ius soli, he or she becomes a European citizen also. And as such he or she can move from one Member State to the next, unimpeded. We need to reflect on this and think of a coordinated response.”