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Combating terrorism is a key priority of the EU, as demonstrated by both the new Strategic Agenda 2019-2024 adopted by the Council and the EU Security Union Strategy, which at the same time underlines the need to ensure that fundamental rights are the basis of security policies. The project will provide evidence-based advice to the European Commission and other EU institutions as well as EU Member States on the fundamental rights impact of counter-terrorism legislation, focusing on Directive (EU) 2017/541 on combating terrorism.

This project’s research work will result in a comparative analytical report.


The European Commission has asked FRA to conduct research in this field by collecting data on the impact of Directive (EU) 2017/541 on fundamental rights and freedoms. The findings will contribute to the European Commission’s evaluation of the added value of the Directive as well as its impact on, among others, fundamental rights, which is scheduled for 2021. The findings will also contribute to the proper implementation of fundamental rights and secondary EU legislation at Member State level as concerns combating terrorism.


FRA collects information through desk research, complemented by fieldwork in selected Member States by means of targeted qualitative interviews conducted by FRA staff.

The desk research covers all 25 EU Member States applying the Directive (Denmark and Ireland are not bound by it). Data are collected through the Agency’s multi-disciplinary research network, FRANET. The fieldwork takes place in seven selected EU Member States (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Spain and Sweden). It consists of interviews with professionals familiar with implementing counter-terrorism laws and policies and with the application of fundamental rights safeguards in the fight against terrorism in practice, namely law enforcement officials, judges, prosecutors, defence lawyers, oversight bodies and experts from civil society and academia.