Brussels, 13 October 2011. After three years of activities, the project EU-SEC II, Coordinating National Research Programmes and Policies on Major Events Security in Europe, funded by the European Commission - DG Enterprise, is coming to an end. The last act of this ambitious initiative has been the conference that took place in Brussels on 12th October.
Olympic Games, high-level political summits and other mass events, such as national and religious festivals, require international cooperation for their security planning. "Security planning is a complex and challenging exercise" said Jonathan Lucas, UNICRI Director, "It is not a goal per se but a key factor for the success of such events and a necessity for the public to enjoy them".
Major Events are "windows of opportunity" to foster cutting edge development in security technologies and domestic policing in relation to crime, safety, public order and counter-terrorism. Moreover, with regards to the fundamental principles of European citizenship, Major Events increasingly come to embody what it means to be European for a 21st Century generation in terms of freedom, security and justice. This is particularly true when thinking about peaceful protests as well as simple participation and enjoyment.
EU SEC II exemplifies the excellent results that the collaboration among European Member Countries, the European Commission and the United Nations can bring about.
The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and a Consortium composed exclusively of public entity end-users from 22 EU Member States as well as Europol played a fundamental role in coordinating research programmes and policies to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and relevant best practice related to security at all types of Major Events.
The action of the EU- SEC II Consortium has focused primarily on identifying common standards with the objective to contribute to the development of pragmatic analytical tools and methodologies to strengthen host countries' ability to manage security at Major Events. Among others, the Consortium Members elaborated guidelines to set-up Private Public Partnerships for security at Major Events, to design a Media Management Strategy, to have a Common Planning Model and to comply with Common Ethical standards.
The main outcome of the EU-SEC II action is a European model of coordination for security planning at Major Events.
During the implementation period of the project, the Consortium field-tested the elaborated methodologies and tools in a series of Major Events held in Europe. These include two Champion's League Finals (one of 2009 held in Italy and the other of 2011 held in UK), the Climate Change Conference of 2009 (Denmark) and the Pope's Visit to Cyprus in June 2010.
In the aforementioned concluding conference, the Manual "Foundations of the European House of Major Events Security" has been launched. The Manual goes through all the phases of EU-SEC II and systematizes its interim outputs in order to lay the basis for the European House of Major Events Security endorsed by the Consortium as the main coordination tool to harmonize the existing security plans in Europe.
Starting from the commonly agreed European definition of a Major Events, the Manual identifies seven coordination services for future use by EU Member States.
The first four: the IPO Security Planning Model (developed by UNICRI and successfully field-tested during the project); the best practises in Public-Private Partnership; the Media Management guidelines; and the Ethical and Operational Standards for Security Products, aim to create common policies in relation to planning and evaluation activities.
The remaining three: the Specialist Technical Equipment Pool (STEP); the European Major Events Register (EMER); and the training & networking modules and curriculum on major event security standards designed in collaboration with the European Police College (CEPOL), serve as common tools for coordinating latest research, technologies and training in this area.
The seven coordination services described in the Manual constitute the essence of the European House of Major Events Security (the House), which has been launched on 12 October and will be operational as of January 2012.
The timing of the launch of the House fits within the framework set by the EU Internal Security Strategy (ISS) which the European Commission proposed in 2010.
The House not only reinforces the European Research Area through an enhanced coordination effort, but also ensures that coordinated, end-users driven, research is conducive to impact on the policy-making mechanisms applied across Europe, as sketched out by the ISS.
The House would establish an effective forum through which security planners would constitute working relations with counterparts in other parts of Europe, laying the foundations for a working relationship based on mutual trust and understanding. This essential work will enable the fostering of a common European policing approach for security planning at Major Events.