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Counterterrorism: G6 Symposium

Volume 697: debated on Monday 10 December 2007

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Jacqui Smith) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I met counterparts from Poland, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, along with experts from the seven countries for a two-day symposium at Schwielowsee, near Werder, on 30 November and 1 December 2007.

The symposium was intended to provide a chance to reflect, together with the help of legal and academic experts, on developments in international terrorism and to intensify dialogue on effective measures to take against this threat.

In May 2007, the interior Ministers of the G6 countries and the US met in Venice at Italy's invitation to discuss counterterrorism issues. They came to the conclusion that they needed to work together on legal issues around how states counter international terrorism in order to come up with effective responses to the wide variety of threats faced by the international community and its citizens. At that meeting, the participants agreed to intensify their dialogue.

The symposium discussed, inter alia:

whether there were problems and gaps in the legal environment in which states worked to counter terrorism, and how such issues could be addressed;

some specific issues, such as: deportation of terrorist suspects; the creation of new criminal offences; and intelligence sharing; and

other related issues such as the European Police Mission (EUPOL) in Afghanistan.

Germany has indicated an intention to convene further work to continue the fruitful dialogue of this symposium.