The EU Response to the CBRN Terrorism Threat: A Critical Overview of the Current Policy and Legal Framework

  • Francesca CaponeEmail author
Conference paper


The rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other extremist groups has resulted in a number of terrorist attacks that have shaken confidence in the EU counter-terrorism strategy, which is based on four main pillars, i.e. prevention, protection, pursuit and response. The scale of the global terrorism threat is still overwhelming, and new challenges keep surfacing, like the risk of terrorist acts involving the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), i.e. weapons or devices that are intended to cause (or are capable of causing) death or serious bodily injury to a significant number of people through release, dissemination or impact of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials (CBRN). Thus, the EU needs to increase its counter-terrorism capacity in light of the risks stemming from a number of factors, for example, terrorist organisations’ recent attempts to acquire WMD, the growing number of people familiar with CBRN warfare techniques and the, often, inadequate security conditions for storing nuclear weapons and fissile materials. The present paper aims at providing a critical overview of the current policy and legal framework governing the EU prevention and response to the CBRN terrorism threats, highlighting its shortcomings and strengths.


EU counter-terrorism strategy ISIL WMD CBRN terrorism threat 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Law, Politics, Development, Scuola Superiore Sant’AnnaPisaItaly

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