It is time for the EU institutions to wake up and face reality

It is time for the EU institutions to wake up and face reality

United Nations Security Council decided on the 24th of September 2014 to adopt a resolution to control the traveling, financing and recruitment of foreign fighters. Now member countries of the UN are obliged to prevent foreign fighters from traveling to hot spots like northern Iraq. Member states are also allowed to prevent them from entering their home territories again. This is something that the Sweden Democrats have demanded for a long time.

We have proposed that persons that are willing to travel to take part in terrorist acts or terrorist training should be stopped at the border before they leave. If they travel and come back, they should be prosecuted. If they get caught at the border trying to return, they should be denied entry to the Schengen area. This regardless of if they have taken part in combat, terrorist acts or “just” been training.

Similarly to other governments around the EU, the Swedish government have uttered such nonsense like “you can’t stop adults from traveling”, “there might be legitimate reasons for traveling”. We ask ourselves: What “legitimate reasons” are there to travel to training camps in Syria, Iraq; Nigeria or Yemen?

We have heard such drivel from other politicians, that we start to wonder if they have lost touch with reality altogether. “We need to show positive alternatives to how to engage in the Syrian conflict, I believe that it's possible”. “Sweden, in the negotiations [on counter terrorism] in the EU, have amongst other things contributed with a new chapter […] on respect for human rights, basic freedoms, openness and transparency, cooperation, efficiency and avoidance of stigmatization.” Yes, we presume that after you have cut someone’s head off, the home community might, and rightly so, be hostile when you come back from Syria. How to avoid stigmatization under those circumstances is a problem we believe shouldn’t even be taken into consideration.

Our view is, to put it bluntly, these foreign fighters are circular migrants in practice. They should be greeted on their return by a Fortress Europe and, if that fails, an Exit program, literally. No family reunifications and revoked citizenship, if they happen to have double nationalities. Such exemptions from secondary EU law are probably permitted with regards to national security. It is time for the EU institutions to wake up and face reality. If foreign fighters, according to the Security Council, are a threat to international peace and security, we believe they are a threat to national security as well.

The Sweden Democrats have demanded for a long period of time that foreign citizens with connection to terrorist networks should be expelled from European soil, immediately and for life. The Sweden Democrats, obviously together with the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council, takes the threat from returning foreign fighters seriously and we believe that sending Islamic fighters to conflict zones is as bad as sending weapons. Together with likeminded MEPs, we will do our best to make sure this threat is given the necessary attention and that it stays on the political agenda as long as it takes. We will also see to that any measure proposed by the EU doesn’t turn out to be the usual half measures.

Kristina Winberg

MEP involved

Kristina Winberg