Answer – VP/HR – Sousse attacks – E-011256/2015

1. The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) Conclusions of 9 February 2015 on counter-terrorism stated that ‘the Council has decided to step up, as a matter of urgency, its external action on countering terrorism in particular in the Mediterranean, the Middle East, including Yemen, and North Africa, in particular also Libya, and the Sahel.’ The first deliverable has been the selection and the deployment of CT security Experts into EU Delegations to MENA (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan) and also Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Nigeria. These experts are cost free ‘Detached National Experts’ from Member States. Furthermore cooperation was already ongoing in Tunisia and it has been gaining speed since the terrorist attacks. In particular, the first ‘targeted and upgraded’ CT political dialogue took place in Tunisia in September with the active participation of the EEAS DSG, the EU CTC, all relevant Commission services and the EU Agencies, Europol and CEPOL. The wide participation on both sides allowed for a constructive meeting. One key outcome has been a comprehensive CT package for Tunisia, the centrepiece of which is a EUR 23 million security sector reform programme (funded under ENI bilateral programme), with an immediate impact on enhancing the capacity of the Tunisian judiciary to handle CT related cases. This model will be followed in future CT political dialogues in the MENA region.

2. It has been decided that the CT/security experts are to be provided cost-free by EU member states.

3. The increase in efforts as regards CT cooperation is carried out as part of the regular tasks, therefore costs are overall covered by the general budget.