HC Deb 30 April 1986 vol 96 cc421-2W
Sir Geoffrey Johnson Smith

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with the arrangements made by European Economic Community countries for the co-ordination of anti-terrorist activities.

Mr. Hurd

There is increasingly close co-operation between the 12 European Community countries on counter-terrorism. The Heads of Government of the Twelve have in recent times discussed terrorism at their meetings. The Foreign Affairs Ministers have, most recently at their meetings on 14 and 21 April, discussed the problem of terrorism generally and of state-sponsored terrorism in particular. They have adopted a robust and positively co-ordinated approach towards the combat of international terrorism. They have this year established a new working group on terrorism within the framework of European political co-operation.

The Trevi group established in 1976 draws together the Ministers who, within each country of the EC, are responsible for counter-terrorism. We met in The Hague on 24 April and decided, among other things, that Trevi Ministers should meet more frequently and should, where useful, extend counter-terrorist co-operation to countries outside the Twelve including the United States. We intend ot hold a ministerial meeting in London in December. We also approved arrangements for a meeting in May of chief police officers from European airports. They exchange information on and co-ordinate methods of dealing with high risk flights.

Within the framework of Trevi there is a series of working groups, and a well-established machinery for the exchange between the police and security services of the Twelve of information and intelligence about terrorism. Close links have been established between Trevi and the new political co-operation working group on terrorism. When the United Kingdom assumes the presidency of the EC in July 1986, the Government will ensure that all these arrangements are used to the full in the fight against terrorism.