A logical consequence of the rigid division between the “criminal” and the “political” and of the identification of the urban guerrilla as the common enemy of all the imperialist states, is the implementation of a repressive mutual assistance Agreement and of the transnational institutions which make it operational. This Agreement has at its heart the “European convention for the repression of terrorism”. Let’s briefly summarize the issue.

The project for this Agreement has been in development since October 75’ via the European Committee on the problem of criminality. In May 76’ “given the urgency of the problem” the same Committee approves a draft which will be debated and approved by the 19 States which are members of the Council of Ministers of the [European] Community on January 27th 1977.

The Agreement is comprised of a brief preamble and sixteen articles. In the preamble it is stated that:

“The member States of the Council of Europe..Aware of the growing concern caused by the increase in acts of terrorism; wishing to take effective measures to ensure that the perpetrators of such acts do not escape prosecution and punishment;convinced that extradition is a particularly effective measure for achieving this result,have agreed as follows.”

Two of the articles are decisive. The first is a list of the crimes which will not be considered political crimes, or connected to political crimes, or inspired by political causes. Specifically: offenses connected to airplane hijacking: serious crimes involving an attack on the life, physical integrity or liberty of persons who have international rights and protections, including diplomatic personnel and in addition “ attempt to commit any of the foregoing offenses or participation as an accomplice of a person who commits or attempts to commit such an offense.”

In the second, perhaps fearing that anything could the rigidity of the prior list, the draftees state that

“For the purpose of extradition..a Contracting State may decide not to regard as a political offence or as an offence connected with a political offence or as an offence inspired by political motives a serious offence involving an act of violence,other than one covered by Article 1, against the life, physical integrity or liberty of a person. Or only an attempt to commit such an offense” therefore “convinced that extradition is a particularly effective means to combat the manifestations of international terrorism”  the member states of the Community are “associated in a Agreement”. Technically extradition is a international administrative act of repressive mutual assistance by which a State delivers to another, or receives an accused or convicted person, in order to submit them to criminal proceedings or to serve a sentence.

Politically, extradition is a international instrument of class war against revolutionaries. This is its main aspect. This deal, formalized with the Agreement, fixes the new height established in the process of internationalization of the activity of the States in the European section of the imperialist chain on the repressive level. That is to say it incorporates and extends to the continental level, the content of the repressive systems of the most powerful States, and simultaneously entrusts new transnational institutions with the power to operate in the common interest.

This process of concentration and centralization of imperialist repression in transnational institutions is a strategic function of the need for homogeneous intervention and extends throughout the continental area, standardizing it at the higher level of the major powers in the chain of command.

However, there is a fact we must not overlook: this is a centralization which still leaves the specific repressive machinery of each country broad and differentiated margins of intervention and of relative autonomy. This is because of the complexity and heterogeneity of the class structures and the different degrees of strength of the revolutionary movement in different countries, which does not allow for a linear and simultaneous development, in the task of restructuring the control-repression apparatus in the crisis.