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Minister of the Interior, Hanno Pevkur: “Focusing on Internet activity is gaining importance in the fight against terrorism.”

27. March 2015 - 12:20

The Minister of the Interior, Hanno Pevkur, emphasised today at the European Union Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting that combatting pro‑extremist messages spread on the Internet, particularly in social media, is gaining importance in the fight against terrorism.

According to the Minister, the EU Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU), an extension of Europol’s Check the Web Internet monitoring project, is set to launch on 1 July 2015. “The unit must be able to support Member States in conducting rapid checks of messages linked to terrorism or extremism and in limiting access to the websites in question. European Union Member States can and must contribute more to data exchange, including by making better use of the technical facilities of Europol, Eurojust and Interpol,” stated Pevkur after the Council meeting.

Pevkur added that in order to step up the fight against terrorism and border management, Estonia had consistently highlighted the need to introduce various electronic solutions and information systems. “We are aiming for the swift adoption of the European Union airline passenger name record (PNR) directive and for applying the system also to intra‑EU flights. In terms of the need to step up external border control, Estonia prioritises the adoption of the so‑called e‑borders package, which would offer smart support to police and border guard authorities for conducting checks, while also speeding up border crossings,” said the Minister of the Interior.

In addition to the fight against terrorism, the EU Ministers of the Interior are also discussing today in Brussels topics such as migration pressure, firearm deactivation and exchange of passenger records with Mexico and Argentina.