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Nuclear security in light of emerging terror threats in Europe

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 14179 | 13 October 2016

Mr Vusal HUSEYNOV, Azerbaijan, EPP/CD ; Mr Volodymyr ARIEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Deniz BAYKAL, Turkey, SOC ; Mr Alain DESTEXHE, Belgium, ALDE ; Ms Aleksandra DJUROVIĆ, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Ms Sevinj FATALIYEVA, Azerbaijan, EC ; Ms Sahiba GAFAROVA, Azerbaijan, EC ; Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Mr Vladimir GJORCHEV, ''The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia'', EPP/CD ; Mr Antonio GUTIÉRREZ, Spain, SOC ; Mr Sabir HAJIYEV, Azerbaijan, SOC ; Mr Hamid HAMID, Bulgaria, ALDE ; Mr Rafael HUSEYNOV, Azerbaijan, ALDE ; Mr Ekmeleddin Mehmet İHSANOĞLU, Turkey, EC ; Mr İlhan KESİCİ, Turkey, SOC ; Mr Muslum MAMMADOV, Azerbaijan, SOC ; Ms Milica MARKOVIĆ, Bosnia and Herzegovina, SOC ; Mr Aleksandar NIKOLOSKI, ''The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia'', EPP/CD ; Ms Ganira PASHAYEVA, Azerbaijan, ALDE ; Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Rovshan RZAYEV, Azerbaijan, EPP/CD ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Mr Samad SEYIDOV, Azerbaijan, EC ; Mr Jordi XUCLÀ, Spain, ALDE

Between the years 2014 and 2016, Europe faced 24 terror attacks, which expose the reality that every means, including nuclear terrorism, are completely acceptable options for terrorists. Concerns about a “nuclear terrorism” threat by extremists have further increased after it was revealed that the two brothers linked to the terrorist attacks in Paris were considering an attack on a nuclear site in Belgium. Investigations revealed, on the basis of numerous facts, that Brussels attackers might make a plan to attack the Tihange nuclear power plant in Belgium. Moreover, the intentions of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other terrorist groups to get access to nuclear facilities demonstrate the extent of the possible danger to humanity. The probability of catastrophes in Europe is growing as never before and the consequences could be unprecedented.

Following the terror attacks in France and Belgium, countries across Europe are strengthening security measures against terrorism. However, new challenges for nuclear infrastructure and security in the light of emerging threats of terrorism make the member States of the Council of Europe vulnerable.

In light of the above, enhancing nuclear security should be perceived as the most vital aspect of the international legal framework to combat nuclear terrorism. It is very important that the Parliamentary Assembly focuses on this issue, thus increasing the attention of the international community and putting it high on the agenda of member States; moreover, it should call for:

  • increased application of international legal and security requirements;
  • co-operation among member States and involvement of non-member States;
  • enhancing means for monitoring the implementation of the relevant nuclear security instruments;
  • encouraging maximum level of transparency and co-operation to improve compliance.

Only this systematic approach and co-operation on the Parliamentary Assembly level will prove effective for the further prevention of any potential nuclear threats to human lives and the safety of Europe.