The Commission today honoured the victims of the attacks in Brussels by holding a minute's silence with the King and Queen of Belgium as well as the Belgian and French Prime Ministers. The Commission later had a working meeting with the French Prime Minister.
"We remain concerned, overwhelmed, touched by what happened yesterday in Brussels," said Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, following today's meetings. "We believe that a European security union is necessary." The President together with the Belgian and French Prime Ministers, Charles Michel and Manuel Valls, laid a wreath at Maelbeek metro station to honour the victims of the attack which took place there.
President Juncker and Prime Minister Valls called on the European Parliament and the Council to urgently agree new anti-terror measures that the Commission has proposed in recent months. These measures target terrorist groups and organised crime, and include new rules to make it more difficult to acquire firearms. The Council has already reached agreement on the EU Passenger Name Record, with the Parliament soon to do the same.
The working meeting between the College and the French Prime Minister focused on the attacks of 22 March in Brussels, and agreed to take forward the European Agenda on Security – a comprehensive strategy to deepen cooperation between Member States' security and intelligence services, and to counter the threat of radicalisation.
To strengthen the EU's external border, the Commission has also adopted a targeted revision of the Schengen Borders Code to introduce systematic checks against relevant databases for all people entering or exiting the Schengen area, as well as a proposal for a European Border and Coast Guard. Both proposals are moving forward in the Parliament and the Council.