The Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz, met his Portuguese counterpart, the new Minister of Internal Administration of Portugal, Anabela Miranda Rodrigues, in Lisbon. This is the first official meeting held between the two ministers since the new Portuguese home affairs Minister took office in November 2014, but it is the seventh bilateral meeting held between Jorge Fernández Díaz and his Portuguese counterpart during this term of office.
At the meeting, Jorge Fernández Díaz conveyed to his Portuguese counterpart Spain’s firm commitment to the fight against Jihadi terrorism and highlighted that Spain is currently updating a series of legislative instruments in order to prosecute new terrorist offences and conduct in a more effective manner, which affects such issues as passive training, self-radicalisation (‘lone wolves’) inciting the commission and justification of terrorism acts through new technologies and returning combatants.
At the meeting, Jorge Fernández Díaz and Anabela Miranda Rodrigues committed to stepping up the exchange of strategic information on the Jihadi phenomenon and the trends towards violent radicalisation in both countries, as well as to maintaining close communication and coordination on home affairs issues within the framework of the European Union.
Jorge Fernández Díaz informed her that on Friday 20 January, the Council of Ministers approved the National Strategic Plan to Fight Violent Radicalisation (Spanish acronym: PEN-LCRV), and that on 2 February, Mariano Rajoy and the Leader of the Opposition signed a State Pact to Fight Jihadi Terrorism. Furthermore, at this meeting, Jorge Fernández Díaz explained to her that Spain decided, on 7 January, to increase the terrorist threat risk level from “Level 2 – High Intensity Degree” to “Level 3 – Low Intensity Degree”, as a preventive measure following the terrorist attacks in Paris on 7 and 9 January in which 17 people died.
The Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz, informed his Portuguese counterpart, Anabela Miranda Rodrigues, that Spain considers implementing the European PNR (Passenger Name Record) to be of the utmost importance in the fight against terrorism, and stressed that unblocking the stalemate in the European Parliament on this issue must be a priority to counteract the greatest terrorist threat that Europe has faced in recent years.
Moreover, the Minister for Home Affairs pointed out that Spain supports the legislative amendment to the Schengen Border Code to allow a systematic check of those people that enjoy the right to free movement in data bases, including the Schengen Information System (SIS) and other systems, at external borders.
Jorge Fernández Díaz also highlighted the importance of the role of Europol in the fight against terrorist content on the Internet, and in this regard underlined that it is necessary to seek common solutions and prevent radicalisation and abusive use of the Internet for terrorist purposes.