The European Union (EU) has for some time regarded terrorism as a threat to both the internal and external security of the Union. Over the years, the countries in the EU have faced terrorism on different occasions. However, at present the internal and external variants of the threat are strongly interconnected: the problem of foreign fighters and returners, as well as the flow of refugees towards Europe as a result of the war and terror in Syria and Iraq, transport the danger from the internal to the external arena and vice versa. The threat of terrorism also threatens the community of values that stand for democracy and the rule of law. Europol therefore refers to a growing threat in comparison with recent years. In addition to the above elements, this is also related to the fact that the threat assessment has become increasingly diffuse due to the great diversity of modus operandi, the choice of targets, the degree of organisation and the use of weapons. At present, the threat is even assessed as extremely serious.
This thematic study assesses this internal and external terrorist threat to the European Union based on several key trends.