STA, 15 March 2019 - Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King, who is in Slovenia on Friday to discuss the security situation in the EU, told participants of a Citizens' Dialogue event in Ljubljana that rightist terrorist attacks such as the one that happened in New Zealand's Christchurch today were also possible in Europe.
He noted though that attacks by extremist Islamists were more frequent in Europe.
King labelled today's attack in New Zealand, in which at least 49 people were killed, horrific, expressing solidarity with the families of those killed or affected by the attack.
Speaking at the event hosted by the Faculty of Social Sciences, he said that the EU had stepped up cooperation among security forces of individual countries in a bid to fight terror.
Terrorists' access to explosives and financing has been restricted and the EU is also fighting against radicalisation, including on-line, he said, adding that a lot more needed to be done.
King pointed to cyber security as one of the main challenges. Next to the fight against on-line radicalisation, it also includes measures against cyber-attacks, hate speech and misinformation, which external actors use to influence political debate or even EU election results.
The safety of electronic devices themselves is also important and here the EU plays an important role with its security certificates, he said.
The debate also touched on the future of the EU defence and the idea of forming a joint EU army. King said EU members already cooperated in defence, including in EU missions in third countries.
He moreover pointed to the joint EU projects aimed at strengthening defence capabilities of individual countries. A joint army would foremost enhance defence capabilities, he believes.
King, who is also in charge of the fight against organised and cyber-crime, and hate speech, is scheduled to meet Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar and officials from the Slovenian intelligence agency SOVA later today.