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EU vows 118mn euros to safeguard cities

The European Commission pledged 118.5 million euros on Wednesday (October 18) to help Europe’s cities guard against attacks and outlined how EU countries could do more to curb the sale of bomb-making materials.

After a dozen cases in Europe of drivers using vehicles to plough into pedestrians, like the August attack in Barcelona, authorities have struggled to protect public spaces without disrupting cities’ open character or busting tight budgets.

Security Commissioner Julian King told a news conference the new proposal aimed at making it ‘harder and harder for terrorists’ to carry out attacks, adding the measures were based on lessons learnt from the recent wave of attacks that hit Europe.

King added other proposals would help to ensure that EU governments are acting to counter what King said was an acceleration in the use of home-made explosives for attacks and to guard against chemical, biological or nuclear threats.

The EU has passed regulations to crack down on the purchase of over-the-counter products that can be used to make explosives such as TATP, which has been used by militants in several attacks in western Europe in recent years, including Manchester in May, Brussels in 2016 and Paris in 2015.

While security experts worry about the risks of militants using higher impact materials such as chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear materials, the Commission said the overall threat of this remained low.

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