Europe has been disfigured by yet another indiscriminate attack on its ordinary citizens for, as in Madrid last year, the London bombers this week deliberately made no distinction among the nationality or rank of their victims. And the risk of similar incidents continually increases. Anyone with a grudge and a train ticket can, with nothing more than a rucksack-full of modern explosives, destroy lives, disrupt cities, and, cumulatively, destabilise civilised society.

The current EU Presidency has put security high on the agenda, with an emphasis on boosting cooperation to fight terrorism. Recently-agreed EU programmes have set out long lists of how to build closer links between police and judiciary, to tighten controls, and to ease exchange of information. And terrorism has featured in every European Council since Madrid. It will be back on the agenda at an emergency EU Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting on July 13.

The EU performance has improved - but as this week has clearly shown, not enough. And improvements have suffered long delays between agreement, adoption, and implementation often because of member state reluctance to act on commitments made. Some of the planned measures are in limbo because they depend on ratification of the new EU treaty. And the powers of the EU's recently-appointed Mr Counter-terrorism remain severely limited. On these intra-EU technical matters, it is clear what needs to be done, but political will and tenacity are also...

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