On 14 and 15 October 2015, European Union Member States' counter terrorism experts met in Budapest to discuss the phenomenon of foreign fighters returning from conflict zones to Europe. The meeting was organised by the Hungarian Counter Terrorism Centre (TEK) and attended by experts from Europol and the Europol-coordinated working group Dumas which is a key forum for international counter terrorism cooperation.
Representatives from 25 countries shared their experience on the problem of travelling fighters and discussed the practical issues of law enforcement cooperation. The experts agreed that the successful monitoring of the foreign fighters' phenomenon should be based on effective cooperation between EU law enforcement agencies. Key tasks are to map individuals and groups who pose a threat to the national security of EU Member States, to tackle the radicalisation process and to develop preventive and reactive measures to cope with this threat. To this end, it is important to improve active information exchange between EU law enforcement agencies. Europol can facilitate this by offering its existing counter terrorism capabilities for secure information exchange, operational support and to provide a strategic overview.
The meeting in the Hungarian capital expresses the aim of the European Union law enforcement communities to face this new terrorism challenge even more effectively by increasing information exchange and improving international cooperation via existing cooperation channels.