Counter Terrorism requires close coordination of EU and MS efforts and close cooperation with international partners, and seamless integration of internal and external Counter Terrorism work. The 2005 EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy based on prevention, protection, pursuit and response and the updated Terrorism Action Plan provide the strategic framework for the development of the EU’s counter-terrorism policy and actions internally and externally. The EU promotes a criminal justice approach on counter-terrorism while protecting human rights.
Counter Terrorism as a matter of national security is mainly a Member States competence. EEAS focuses on the external dimension of CT in close coordination with the MS in the Council Working Group COTER (Presidency-chaired) as well as with all relevant EU institutions involved. EEAS' role is to coordinate CT external outreach and capacity building assistance to third countries by EU and MS, to ensure coherence and efficiency. Within the EEAS, Counter Terrorism related EU external relations – due to their security nature, are handled by the 'Security Policy and Conflict Prevention Directorate' under Deputy Secretary General 'CSDP and crisis response', supported by a dedicated CT Team.
The overall objectives of EU's external actions on counter-terrorism are:
The EEAS works closely with the relevant services of European Commission (HOME, JUST, INTPA, FPI) and its relevant agencies (Europol/Eurojust) in particular in addressing the internal and external aspects of counter-terrorism and programming and implementation issues of EU CT capacity building support to third countries.