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EU 'too clunky to copy German anti-terror model'

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EU 'too clunky to copy German anti-terror model'
A police officer in Hanover in November 2015, when a Germany-Netherlands friendly was cancelled shortly after terror attacks in Paris. Photo: DPA
10:36 CEST+02:00
Trying to bring all of Europe's security forces under one roof to fight terrorism would be more trouble than it's worth, Germany's Interior Minister said on Sunday.

“A European counter-terror centre would have to bring together 28 states with innumerable authorities... transferring the German model to Europe would hardly work,” de Maizière told Tagesspiegel am Sonntag.

Germany's Public Prosecutor General Peter Frank and the German Police Union (DPolG) had previously called for the EU to copy Germany's joint terror defence centre after it emerged that European countries had not shared intelligence that could have helped stop attacks in Brussels and Paris.

The German joint terror defence centre (GTAZ) has brought together 40 authorities from Germany's 16 federal states and the federal government since 2004.

It provides a channel for police and intelligence services to share information among themselves that might help combat terrorism.

But de Maizière is convinced that a similar structure would be too complicated at European level.

“That would mean changing the European treaties,” he explained. “Such a change costs time... we would slip into a discussion about details that would cause us to neglect co-operation and fighting terrorism.”

Instead, European security forces should do everything they can “beneath the threshold of changing the treaties,” he said.

One key area for improvement would be to connect Europe's various security databases together.

Currently, no cross-checking is possible between Eurodac, where fingerprints of refugees registered as arriving in Europe are stored, the Schengen Information System, and the visa information system that logs issued travel documents.

De Maizière was backed up by Office for the Protection of the Constitution (VS) chief Hans-Georg Maaßen, who warned in a television interview that sharing unverified intelligence with other countries could lead to their police acting on it and possibly hurting innocent people.

SEE ALSO: 11 terror plots foiled in Germany since 2000

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