Cooperation has been on everyone's lips this week - and most notably in and around the EU-US summit in Brussels, which inevitably brought the fight against terrorism into the spotlight. As European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said, "These are not challenges that any nation can tackle alone." French President Jacques Chirac spoke of increased transatlantic readiness to cooperate in dealing with major international problems, again raising the spectre of terrorism.

In the same vein, EU justice ministers opened up the possibility of a new Europol agreement with Israel, focused on drugs and terrorism, and rubberstamped a co-operation agreement between Norway and Eurojust.

And in the run-up to the March 11 anniversary of the Madrid train bombings, the EU paid homage to the victims with conclusions that spoke of shared values and an EU fight "without concession" against terrorism.

Meanwhile the European Parliament approved a new EU regime for security checks on goods at EU borders - another post 9/11 initiative closely linked to efforts to counter the heightened terrorist threat, and reinforcing the EU-US agreement in 2004 to make containers in each others' ports more secure.

But the week has produced disconcerting evidence right at the heart of the EU of deeds not matching words, particularly in the delicate areas of justice and home affairs.


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