Poland, 24 July 2012. The European House of Major Events Security (The House) provided coordination assistance to the Polish security planners, in the immediate aftermath of the UEFA Euro Cup 2012. The assistance was provided during a series of meetings organized by the Police Academy in Szczytno (Poland) within the framework of “Enhancing European Coordination for National Research Programmes in the Area of Security at Major Events - THE HOUSE” project.
THE HOUSE is a project funded by the European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry, within the 7th Framework Programme and is implemented by a large Consortium of 24 EU Member States, represented by Ministries of the Interior, Police and Police Academies, working under the coordination of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI).
The main goal of the project is to provide coordination assistance for the security planning of Major Events taking place in Europe, via the European House of Major Events Security, in order to advance toward the adoption of a common policing approach at the EU level.
The assistance provided by The House is administered through 7 planning standards called Coordination Tools and Methodologies (CTMs). These CTMs have been developed in response to the assessment of the coordination gaps and needs of European Major Event security planners conducted within two predecessor projects, EU-SEC and EU-SEC II. Each CTM is directly ”looked after” by EU Member State of The House Consortium, who is in charge of its provision on a peer to peer basis.
During the two-day meeting session in Warsaw and Szczytno the main features of the security planning for the UEFA Euro Cup 2012 were presented and two of The House CTMs were described to, and extensively discussed with the Polish Major Events security planners. The CTMs involved were the International Permanent Observatory (IPO) Security Planning Model, as a post-event evaluation tool and the Ethical and Operational Standards for Security Products. The discussion was led by the representatives of partners from Denmark and Austria who are directly in charge of the provision of the above-mentioned CTMs within The House Consortium. In this framework, the planning standards provided by The House were analyzed to assess the degree of their existing application in the security planning of the UEFA Euro Cup 2012. In addition to this, the provision of assistance provided an opportunity to examine the legacy effect that Major Events have in terms of new planning standards and security strategies in the host countries and the consequent contribution to the practical implementation of the main security strategies elaborated by the European Union, namely the Stockholm Programme and the EU Internal Security Strategy.
This event was part of a sequence of 8 similar sessions, stretching until the end of 2013, to provide coordination assistance to security planners of specific Major Events in Europe. In this particular case, the assistance team consisted in security practitioners from: Austria, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Slovenia and Spain, with UNICRI serving as the coordinator.
Mr. Piotr Bogdalski, Rektor of the Police Academy in Szczytno, remarked that "It is commonly known that the importance of security research coordination in EU nowadays is essential. Without such cooperation building a common policing approach across Europe will not be possible. That is why the provision of coordination assistance by The European House of Major Events Security has been particularly beneficial, especially in the context of UEFA EURO 2012. Polish security planners had a chance to discuss and exchange ideas with more experienced members of the project in areas related to the IPO model and new security products. The knowledge they got during the seminar will definitely be used in practice during any other major event tournament which will be hosted by Poland. Planning and implementing security for major events is a challenging exercise but I deeply hope that that the outcome of cooperation between THE HOUSE members, both with the meetings on the Provision of CTMs in European countries at the end will fulfill the main aims of THE HOUSE project."
UNICRI Director, Dr. Jonathan Lucas, commented that “This provision of coordination assistance by The House Consortium constitutes a very useful bench test for the security planners of Major Events in Europe. In this respect, The House is instrumental in fostering advanced national security strategies, regional harmonization of security policies as well as promoting a climate of international cooperation among security planners."
The potential for increased European security originating from the promotion of a common Major Event security planning approach among European security practitioners is seen as a primary concrete benefit of The House for EU citizens. It has the potential to serve as a best practice for other regions.