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Brussels, 10 March 2017
"We remember and honour the victims of all terrorist atrocities, regardless of nationality or religion, and regardless of when or where they happened. We pay respect to all those who lost their lives in those tragic events and express our solidarity with those who lost their loved ones and witnessed the devastation these attacks caused. We stand united in denouncing all forms of terrorism across the globe.
Terrorism scars lives forever. Our words may not undo the damage done but we have an obligation to help better protect our citizens and prevent others from falling victim to terrorist attacks. In the same way that we are working together to tackle the threat of terrorism, we are also working together to deal with its consequences. It is vital that victims of terrorism have access to the necessary protection, support and assistance.
Since the launch of the European Agenda for Security, the EU as a whole has taken action on all fronts to counter the threat of terrorism while ensuring that victims' rights are at the heart of our work. The Commission's proposal for the Directive on combatting terrorism, approved by the Council earlier this week, complements and strengthens the framework of EU rules for victims of terrorism. In particular, it will ensure that the necessary services are available immediately and for as long as required. The Directive builds on the Victims' Rights Directive, which needs to be fully implemented by all Member States as a matter of priority to ensure that all victims are treated with dignity and respect.
While enhancing our internal resilience, the EU has substantially reinforced its counter terrorism cooperation with partner countries and international organisations. The fight against terrorism and violent extremism remains a key priority for the external action of the European Union. In this regard, dedicated counter terrorism attachés have been appointed to 13 EU Delegations in key partner countries whose main role is to deepen our counter terrorism partnerships.
The indiscriminate terrorist threat remains present. We will not allow fear to govern us, but will summon our inner strength instead. As we are about to mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, let us not forget the powerful force for peace and stability that European integration and cooperation has forged. And while we will always remember and honour the bereaved or those who lost their lives, or those who still bear the psychological or physical scars of these tragic events, we will also recall that by standing together we can and will face this challenge together to protect our people. This is Europe, this is who we are."
The European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism was established after the Madrid Bombings of 11 March 2004. Each year since 2005, we remember on this date the victims of terrorist atrocities, regardless of their nationality. We express our sympathy and support to those affected.
For More Information
Upcoming event: 13th European Day of Remembrance of Victims of terrorism
Press release: European Agenda for Security
Factsheet: Victims Rights' Directive