Joint Statement on the European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism by Frans Timmermans, Federica Mogherini, Vera Jourova and Dimitris Avramopoulos

In unity and defiance we denounce all forms of terrorism worldwide, and with respect and honour we remember the victims. We have lost too many friends, neighbours and loved ones in the past year. We have witnessed too many atrocities.

On this European Day of Remembrance, we express our sympathy and support to those who grieve and bear the physical and psychological scars of terrorist acts. We also recall our commitment to support the victims and their families, to strengthen their rights, to defend their interests and to ensure their voices are heard.

Terrorists want us to be afraid. They try to spread hatred and fear, to create intolerance and to turn us against each other. This mentality has no place in our societies, our lives, and our European Union. Every one of us must defeat these ideas, defend our fundamental values and rights, and protect our friendships built through diversity and multiculturalism. Communities must feel safe and nobody should feel isolated or excluded from society: this is our common responsibility.

The European Union continues to work on helping States both within our borders and beyond to prevent further attacks. Last year, the Commission presented the European Agenda on Security for 2015-2020, which identifies the fight against terrorism as one of its key priorities. Justice and Home Affairs Ministers advanced yesterday with the revision of EU legislation on firearms and they are expected to agree today on a new Directive on combating terrorism, proposed by the Commission to step up our common response to terrorism. We are also working against the financing of terrorism and will make legislative proposals in the coming months.

The European Union also has a responsibility beyond its borders, and is committed in its fight against terrorist groups such as Da’esh, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram, in cooperation with our regional and international partners and in accordance with international law. Only a political solution in Syria, the establishment of inclusive political governance in Iraq, the formation of a Government of National Accord in Libya, and the creation of conditions for a successful and stable National Unity Government in Afghanistan can really defeat terrorist groups.

The global threat of terrorism is unprecedented. It is not as individual Member States or even as the European Union alone that we will defeat it. It is our collective, global commitment. On this day of remembrance we stand strong and united as we offer our solidarity and support to all victims of terror, in Europe and around the world. Our unity is our strength.