On 2 and 3 December 2019, the City of Nice as co-coordinator of the Urban Agenda Partnership on Security in Public Spaces was invited by the European Commission (DG Home Affairs) for a two-day meeting in Brussels in the framework of the EU Forum on the protection of public spaces gathering policymakers from EU member states, representatives from local authorities and private operators.
The Forum is a cornerstone of the 2017 EU Action Plan to support the protection of public spaces. Indeed at the policy level, the Commission set up an EU Policy Group on Soft Target Protection to step up the cooperation and coordination between Member States, to collect, exchange best practices and advise on further actions on the protection of public spaces. It also set up a forum to engage with private operators in order to facilitate a common understanding of security challenges, encourage awareness-raising programmes and public-private security partnerships to improve the protection of vulnerable places and contribute to the security continuum.
The connection and the synergy between the EU Forum on the protection of public spaces and the UA Security Partnership is mentioned in the Commission’s Staff Working Document “Good practices to support the protection of public spaces” (available here).
On the occasion of this meeting, Sébastien VIANO (Director Europe and External Funding of the City of Nice) presented the PACTESUR project on the protection of public spaces against terrorism along with other coordinators of European projects financed by the Internal Security fund (Police), focusing on physical protection against vehicle ramming, knowledge and training for law enforcement, technologies and security by design.
He also reviewed the actions carried out by the UA Security Partnership since January 2019 and discussed the actions envisaged for the future action plan in front of the representatives of the Member States. He particularly insisted on the governance issue (to get a recognition of the role of local and regional authorities in the post 2020 EU Security strategy) and on the funding issue (mainly because urban security, would for the first time ever, be eligible to funding from the European Regional Development Fund).
More information on the EU Forum on the protection of public spaces here.