On 25 January, the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, launched Europol's new European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC) together with the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice, Ard van der Steur and Europol's Director Rob Wainwright.
The ECTC will significantly reinforce Europol's counter-terrorism capabilities as a platform for Member States to increase information sharing and operational coordination. It will focus in particular on the fight against foreign terrorist fighters, the trafficking of illegal firearms and terrorist financing.
Ahead of the launch, Commissioner Avramopoulos said: "EU institutions responded swiftly and strongly to the terrorist attacks of last year and moved to augment the European Union’s capacity to deal with the terrorist threat. As foreseen in the European Agenda on Security put forward by the European Commission, the establishment of the European Counter Terrorism Centre is a major strategic opportunity for the EU to make our collective efforts to fight terrorism more effective. I call on EU Member States to trust and support the European Counter Terrorism Centre to help it succeed in its important mission."