Today, during the plenary debate on terrorism, the right to freedom of expression and education, the leader of the Socialists and Democrats, Iratxe García Pérez said:
“The recent terrorist attacks in France and in Austria fill us with sadness and our thoughts and solidarity are with all the victims and their families. But terrorists will never win in their fight to undermine our democracies founded on freedom and openness. On the contrary: we will fight them with our principles.
“We cannot give up on the fundamental principles of freedom of expression and freedom of education. Europe would not exist without them and they are fundamental principles of our Union. We cannot let fanatics divide us. We have to face the terrorist threat united in our diversity, using the Rule of Law to respond.
“We must also tackle terrorist content on social media, because it has become a powerful tool to radicalise, intimidate and recruit. That is why the S&D Group is working hard in the European Parliament to adopt rules for social media companies to act swiftly and remove all terrorist content posted online while respecting fundamental principles.
“However, any proposal must strike that complex but essential balance between free and open societies and security. Some seem to have some interest in diverting attention and speaking about border controls within Schengen. When Home Affairs Ministers meet on Friday to discuss the fight against terrorism, they should focus on preventing radicalisation, improving cooperation and information exchange and steer well clear of a misleading debate on border controls in the Schengen area. Some voices continue to make a deceptive link between migration and terrorism, and in doing so undermine one the EU’s greatest freedoms and greatest achievements.”