On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron called for a “rapid and coordinated” European response to terrorist attacks that have plagued the continent in recent years.
Such a response should focus on “the development of common databases, the exchange of information or the strengthening of criminal policies”, he said after hosting a video conference with other EU leaders.
The online summit came a week after a convicted Islamic State support group killed four people in a shooting in the heart of Vienna, after a hot heel after last month’s attack on a church in the French city of Nice and the beheading of a teacher in a Paris suburb two weeks before that.
Macron called the summit after the Austrian attack to seek an EU-wide response to Islamist attacks.
It was attended by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Leaders discussed the need for a “determined fight against terrorist propaganda and hate speech on the Internet,” Macron told an online briefing after the meeting.
“The Internet is a space for freedom, so are our social networks, but this freedom exists only if there is security and there is no refuge for those who speak our values or try to indoctrinate with deadly ideologies,” he said.
In other counter-terrorism measures, Macron last week announced a doubling of the number of French border guards and called for a “deep” review of the rules of the Schengen area that guarantee the free movement of people across borders.