...from the Preface: During the last two decades, terrorism has been spreading far and wide across the world.
Terrorist attacks that hit New York, London, Madrid, Casablanca, Paris, Istanbul, and other capitals not only inflicted thousands of casualties and significant infrastructure damage, but noticeably marked the inauguration of a new generation of terror in which counter-terrorism has become one of the highest priorities for international institutions and national governments.
So, even prior to the rise of ISIL (The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) the number of terrorist attacks around the world in 2013 rose to more than 8,500, and 17,891 people lost their lives in 2013 as a result of these terrorist attacks.
More than a third, 6,378 occurred in Iraq. Afghanistan suffered the second-most deaths, followed by Pakistan.
Since the announcement of its caliphate in June 2014, ISIL has carried out over 71 terrorist attacks in 22 countries, killing at least 1,200 people and injuring more than 1,900 others.
This does not include bloody acts committed by the organization in the battlefields in Syria and Iraq.At the European level, since the events of Paris, 13th November 2015, two issues have emerged as key: the importance of international cooperation in the area of security and counter-terrorism, and matter of foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq.
For the first point, it should be stated that, although the European Commission has been working on an Internal Security Strategy since 2010, a dominant conviction has persisted that the fight against terrorism is principally a national and sovereign matter.
In the first EU security road map, the assistance which the European Union gave to its member states was limited to creating a legal environment and framework for cooperation, and to developing common capabilities and systems such as the Schengen Information System (SIS) or the Civil Protection Mechanism, the Radicalization Awareness Network, ATLAS (network of the rapid intervention forces), and Airpol (the network of airport police).
When it came, the Paris attack on the 13th of November 2015 exposed all these efforts to criticism, and demonstrated that coordination and security cooperation within the Schengen area were, in reality, ineffective.For this reason, the European Commission immediately stressed the importance of presenting, before the end of 2015, an ambitious set of measures aimed at securing the EU's borders, managing migration more effectively, and improving the internal security of the European Union, while safeguarding the principle of free movement of the individual.