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U.S., EU Adopt Counter-Terrorism Declaration

U.S. and EU are committed to countering violent extremism and insurgency.

The U.S. and EU seek to forge a durable framework to combat terrorism within the rule of law.

In his introduction to the 2010 U.S. National Security Strategy Report, issued in late May, President Barack Obama vowed to "build new and deeper partnerships in every region and strengthen international standards and institutions. The international order we seek is one that can resolve the challenges of our times," said President Obama.

"Countering violent extremism and insurgency" was the first challenge on President Obama's list.

One example of the United State’s commitment to build and deepen partnerships is the recent adoption by the United States and the European Union of the 2010 Declaration on Counter-Terrorism, in which the U.S. and EU seek to forge a durable framework to combat terrorism within the rule of law. The 2010 Declaration stresses that an effective and comprehensive approach to diminish the long term threat of violent extremism is a vital component of U.S. and EU efforts to combat terrorism. In this respect, the 2010 Declaration acknowledges the important role of civil society to help isolate terrorism, as well as the importance of addressing legitimate concerns of minorities and individuals regarding civil rights and civil liberties.

The U.S. and EU also commit to fostering information sharing and cooperation in the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of terrorism related offenses. The 2010 Declaration emphasizes cooperation in border security, countering terrorist financing, enhancing the global non-proliferation regime, and promoting the counterterrorism work of the UN.

In undertaking measures to prevent and combat terrorism, the U.S. and EU also acknowledge a shared value in the protection of individual privacy and emphasized that measures to combat terrorism must comply with their obligations under international law, including human rights law. Emphasis is also given to promoting environments where robust freedom of religion and expression are enjoyed.

"The Council's adoption of this Declaration is a crucial step forward in our mutual fight against terrorism. [It] demonstrates our joint commitment to protect our citizens from terrorism consistent with our laws, our values and our commitment to individual privacy," said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. "Our work with our EU partners to protect the security of our citizens is critical to the success of our counterterrorism efforts.

"We and our partners in the EU are committed to working together to combat the threat of terrorism, bring to that effort our common values of freedom, democracy, our respect for international law, the rule of law, and human rights."