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EU to tighten rules on online extremism after latest attacks in Austria and France

By John Chalmers and Gabriela Baczynska

Brussels – The EU plans to tighten its rules to combat online extremism, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday, ahead of a meeting this week between ministers under pressure to beef up security following deadly attacks in France and Austria.

Suspected Islamist militants have killed eight people in less than a month in Paris, Nice and Vienna. The attacks refocused the bloc’s attention on the threat of extremism, which had slid from the top of the agenda in Europe following the 2017 defeat of Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

French President Emmanuel Macron was due to discuss proposed new security measures with von der Leyen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel later on Tuesday. EU justice and interior ministers meet on Friday.

der Leyen said a looming overhaul of EU rules for online platforms would include measures to combat extremist content.

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