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Office of the Press Secretary

FACT SHEET: U.S.-EU Counterterrorism Cooperation

The United States and the European Union are committed to working together to protect our citizens against terrorist attacks.  We work in close cooperation, bilaterally and multilaterally, to safeguard the security of our citizens in keeping with our shared values and to offer assistance to other countries to build their own capacity.

Collaboration in the Global Counterterrorism Forum Framework

The United States and the EU are among the most active members of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), a multilateral counterterrorism body with 30 worldwide members, designed to address counterterrorism threats and build international capacity.  The United States and the EU jointly support work in all areas of the two working groups focused on Africa:

  • Horn of Africa Region Capacity-Building Working Group:  focuses on law enforcement, criminal justice and the rule of law, border management, countering violent extremism, and countering terrorist financing.  
  • Sahel Region Capacity-Building Working Group:  focuses on police cooperation, building legal and judicial cooperation, border security, community engagement to counter extremism, and countering terrorism financing. 

The United States and the EU also continue to collaborate on three GCTF-inspired institutions, and will serve on the governing boards of and provide financial support to all three institutions:

  • Hedayah:  Hedayah is the first and only international center of excellence on countering violent extremism (CVE).  We will jointly support Hedayah’s efforts, and the United States is funding curriculum development and CVE training.
  • Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund:  This fund, a public-private global venture, will support grassroots efforts to counter violent extremism.  The United States and EU have committed to supporting this fund’s development and operations. 
  • International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law:  Headquartered in Malta, this institute will train criminal justice officials in North, West, and East Africa, with a particular focus on countries in transition, to counter terrorism and handle transnational security challenges while respecting human rights.  The United States and the EU have agreed to provide resources and technical support.

Cooperation on Countering Violent Extremism and Foreign Fighters

We share a common understanding of how terrorists exploit underlying conditions to recruit others to their cause.  The United States and EU have increased transatlantic cooperation on both stemming the flow of foreign fighters and reintegrating them when they return.  We aim to counter violent extremism by providing positive alternatives to communities most at risk of recruitment and radicalization to violence; counter terrorist narratives; and build the capacity of government and civil society to counter violent extremism.

  • Balkans:  The United States and the EU are committed to building the capacity of Balkan governments and civil society to counter violent extremism – from counter-messaging/counter-recruitment to the reintegration of returning fighters.
  • Dutch-Moroccan-led Foreign Fighter Project:  We jointly support a year-long GCTF initiative, launched February 19, led jointly by Morocco and the Netherlands, to address the phenomenon of foreign fighters.
  • U.S. Regional Strategic Initiative Foreign Fighter Project:  The United States, with EU support, will complement the Dutch-Moroccan initiative by focusing on implementation of the Rabat Good Practices to address the criminal justice aspects of prevention, disruption, and prosecution of foreign fighters, mainly focused on the Balkans, Maghreb, and Sahel countries.

Coordination on Combating Terrorist Organizations

We are committed to preventing and countering efforts by terrorists and their networks to travel freely in our territories and finance their illicit activities.  We are continuing this work with the European Union and will rely on a number of critical agreements to accomplish this.

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