The EU Response to Terrorist Content Online: Too Little, (Maybe not) Too Late?

Printer-friendly version

Table of Contents: I. Introduction. – II. The fight against the dissemination of terrorist content online: a substantive framework. – III. The Commission’s proposal on the extension of the EPPO’s competence to terrorist conducts. – IV. The persistent role of Eurojust and Europol as crucial cybersecurity and human rights guardians. – V. Some conclusive remarks.

Abstract: The prevention and suppression of terrorist crimes within the European Union are subject of discussion at the European level, currently characterised by a heterogenous substantive framework that bears the risk of an insufficient response, particularly with regards to the massive spreading of terrorist content online. Indeed, while Directive 2017/541/EU provides a comprehensive discipline on the deterrence and repression of terrorist conducts, the EU is only just starting to address the specific problem of the illicit use of the internet by terrorists. Thus, the Commission’s initiative to extend the competences of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) to transnational terrorist crimes has timely recognised how the EU lacks a European level of prosecution and any compelling power towards domestic authorities. This creates gaps in investigations and proceedings in one Member State that may result in casualties or risks in the Union as a whole. This Article argues that the EPPO should consequently represent the central authority entrusted with the power to directly enforce instructions upon national prosecutors and to coordinate their joint actions in the field. This Article also suggests that Eurojust and Europol’s capability as specialised agencies in this area should be enhanced on the basis of their well-established expertise on the subject.

Keywords: Area of Freedom Security and Justice – Eurojust – European Public Prosecutor’s Office – internet – judicial cooperation – terrorism.

European Papers, Vol. 6, 2021, No 2, pp. 967-986
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/509

* PhD Student in European Union Law, Università degli Studi Roma Tre,


European Forum


Forum Européen


Forum europeo


Foro Europeo