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European Commission Representation in Cyprus
News article10 March 2024Representation in Cyprus3 min read

Commission Statement on the European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism

Commission Statement on the European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism

Visit of Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner, to Spain

Ahead of the 20th European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism tomorrow, the Commission issued the following statement:

“On the European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism we honor the memory of all those who have tragically fallen victims to terrorist acts, whether on EU soil or beyond our borders. This year holds particular significance as we mark the commemoration of the attack in Madrid two decades ago. The memory of the victims will live on. It will serve as a poignant reminder of the enduring impact of terrorism.

With unwavering unity, we defend our cherished values of peace, respect and solidarity. We will not let terrorists instill fear and hate in our society. The Commission remains steadfast in its commitment to fight terrorism. In 2020, the Commission put forward a Counter-Terrorism Agenda for the EU to better anticipate, prevent, protect and respond to terrorist threats. Since then, a lot of progress has been made, notably in addressing the dissemination of terrorist content online. Removing this content, including footage from past attacks published online, is crucial for protecting victims' dignity and well-being and from preventing radicalisation. Since December 2023, with the entry into force of the Terrorist Content Online Regulation, more than 300 orders to remove terrorist content online have been successfully implemented. The EU Home Affairs agencies are providing crucial support to national authorities and law enforcement on this work.

Furthermore, combatting terrorism means standing by its victims. The Commission is strongly committed to support victims as they rebuild their lives. Under the EU Strategy on Victims' Rights (2020-2025), we acknowledge that victims of terrorism require specialised support and protection. Through the initiatives such as the EU Centre of Expertise for Victims of Terrorism, we ensure the effective application of EU rules on victims' rights and raise awareness about the rights and needs of victims of terrorism in the EU. Through the Radicalisation Awareness Network, we also ensure that the voices of victims and survivors are taken into account in our response to terrorism.

On this day of remembrance, we renew our resolve in supporting victims and fostering inclusive and resilient societies.”


The European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism was established after the Madrid bombings of 11 March 2004. Each year since 2005, the European Union remembers on this date the victims of terrorist atrocities worldwide.

The Counter-Terrorism Agenda is one deliverable of the way forward on internal security, a core component of the Security Union Strategy adopted by the Commission in July 2020. The Counter-Terrorism Agenda aims at identifying vulnerabilities and building capacity to anticipate threats; preventing attacks by addressing radicalisation; promoting security by design and reducing vulnerabilities to protect cities and people; stepping up operational support, prosecution and victims' rights to better respond to attacks.

The Radicalisation Awareness Network, through its working group on remembrance of victims of terrorism, presents victims' experiences, contributes to the remembrance of all victims of terrorism, and highlights the human consequences of violent extremism. Victims' rights and support to them are also at the heart of work carried out by the European Network of Associations of Victims of Terrorism, set up by the Commission.

Removing terrorist content online, such as footages from past attacks, is key to protect victims' dignity and mental health. The Terrorist Content Online Regulation (TCO) plays a key role in this regard. The TCO requires that terrorist content is taken down (or access thereto blocked) within one hour upon receipt of a removal order.  As reported, the Regulation has had a positive impact in addressing the dissemination of terrorist content online following Hamas' attack on 7 October 2023.

Ensuring that victims of crime, including victims of terrorism can rely on their rights is important to guarantee support and protection for victims. The EU has put in place a strong legal framework to protect victims across Europe. The EU rules on victims' rights include the EU-wide compensation scheme and the Directive on Combating Terrorism. In June 2023, the Commission adopted a proposal for the revision of the Victims' Rights Directive to strengthen further the rights of victims on the EU and the Directive on Combating Terrorism. In 2020, the Commission also set up the EU Centre of Expertise for victims of terrorism to offer expertise, guidance and support to national authorities and victim support organisations.


Publication date
10 March 2024
Representation in Cyprus