French President Emmanuel Macron has said terror attacks are a “European reality” and that major changes need to be made to EU border security.
It comes after three recent Islamist attacks in quick succession – two in France and one in Vienna.
Mr Macron was speaking after a video conference to discuss anti-terror strategy with the leaders of Germany, Austria, The Netherlands.
The French president said he wanted “deep reform” of how the external borders of Europe’s visa-free Schengen area are policed – something he first voiced last week.
“All weaknesses at the external border or in one member state is a security risk for all members,” Mr Macron said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed that change was needed.
“It is vitally necessary to know who comes in and who leaves the Schengen area,” she said.
Mr Macron also urged better police co-operation among nations and that the response to recent attacks had to be “common, co-ordinated, rapid” before EU leaders meet again in December.
This Friday is the fifth anniversary of the Paris terror attacks that killed 130 people.
Four people were also shot dead in Vienna last week by a man officials said had tried to join Islamic State.
The Nice and Vienna attacks involved people who had moved freely between countries because of the Schengen rules – which did away with internal border checks for 26 countries.
Austrian leader Sebastian Kurz told journalists on Tuesday that more action was needed to protect people from ex-jihadis – many of whom have fought in Syria with IS.
He called them “ticking time bombs” and a “permanent danger among us”.
Mr Kurz said their freedom should be limited when they are released from jail.
Dutch premier Mark Rutte stressed that any tougher measures from EU leaders should not be viewed as an anti-Islam move.
“This is not a conflict between Christians and Muslims… No. It is a fight between civilization and barbarism,” Mr Rutte said.
Mr Macron also appears to have some of the tech world’s big players in his sights.
He wants “terrorist content” removed from the internet within an hour – something he said “must absolutely be put in place in the weeks ahead”.
EU interior ministers are to meet on Friday to further discuss anti-terror work, said European Council President Charles Michel – who was also at the meeting alongside Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
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