On 11 March 2004, ten bombs exploded almost simultaneously aboard four commuter trains in Madrid (Spain), killing 193 people and injuring around 2,000. Every year since that terrorist attack perpetrated by al-Qaeda, one of the deadliest in the history of Europe, the European Union remembers on this date the victims of terrorist atrocities. On the 16th European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism, the EU stands united and strong in its commitment to build a Europe that protects and takes special care of victims of heinous acts.
The third progress report on the implementation of the European Union Global Strategy, “The EU Global Strategy in Practice - Three years on, looking forward” looks at the progress achieved over the past three years, since the presentation of the Global Strategy in June 2016, in five priority areas - the security of the Union, state and social resilience to our east and south, an integrated approach to conflicts and crises, cooperative regional orders and global governance for the 21st century - and provides possible orientations for the way forward in the coming years.
The G5 Sahel countries - Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad - face increasing threats by terrorists and organized crime involving trafficking in arms, drugs and human beings. This has also an impact on the Mediterranean region and EU Member States. To help address the situation, the EU has joined forces with its G5 partners and launched a range of support measures. Amongst other things, the EU has helped to mobilise commitments of more than €400 million to help set up a Joint Force of the countries concerned and has deployed, under the EU flag, two civilian capacity building missions and one military training mission to Niger and Mali.
Illicit weapons are a threat to us all. They contribute to terrorism and organised crime within the EU. They also undermine the EU’s development and humanitarian efforts in parts of our neighbourhood and Africa. EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and the European Commission today adopted a joint proposal for a comprehensive EU Strategy against illicit firearms, small arms and light weapons (SALW).