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On 25th January 2016 Europol launched the European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC) at the informal meeting of the justice and home affairs ministers in Amsterdam. The ECTC will address issues like foreign fighters and share information regarding terrorist financing, online propaganda and arms trafficking.

According to Interpol, Europe is facing its most serious terrorist threat in 10 years. Combined with the growing number of foreign fighters, this is a new challenge for EU member states.

“The ECTC will enhance operational coordination and information-sharing between law enforcement agencies”, said the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice, Ard van der Steur, at the start of the meeting. “This is necessary to fight organised crime, terrorist networks and foreign fighters.”

The ECTC, which is part of the Europol organisation, will be led by the Spaniard Manuel Navarrete Paniagua. He currently has a staff of 39, plus five seconded experts. They will work with other operational centres within Europol.

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