Introduction to draft actions

  • William MEJIA profile
    William MEJIA
    22 July 2020 - updated 2 months ago
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The purpose of this document is to provide background information for the Public Feedback on the draft Action Plan developed by the Urban Agenda Partnership on Security in Public Spaces. The Partnership proposes its Action Plan at a key moment when a new Security Union Strategy is adopted by the European Commission and while the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 is still under negotiation. In addition, since the urban dimension of security is a new political topic at the European level, the Partnership has a unique opportunity to propose new ideas and contribute to the policy debate on those themes.

Below an introduction on the Partnership is provided, followed by a description of the Actions developed. The feedback received will be used to further develop and shape the Action Plan.


About this Partnership: composition, aims and scope

The Partnership on Security in Public Spaces was launched in January 2019 together with the Partnership on Culture and Cultural Heritage, (together they are known as the Vienna Partnerships) and is one of the 14 Urban Agenda Partnership established in the framework of the Pact of Amsterdam of 2016. As for the other Partnerships, it aims to identify and implement activities and solutions to respond to the three objectives of Better Regulation, Better Funding and Better Knowledge.

More specifically, the Partnership aims to ensure that the role of local and regional authorities in security is better recognised at all levels and enshrined in the European Internal Security Strategy and other relevant European political initiatives or frameworks. This is crucial in order to develop the urban dimension of EU policies in the field of security and, in this way, contribute to harness the potential of the EU Urban Agenda as a whole.

In particular, The Partnership commits to respond to key challenges such as:

  • Address major safety and security threats that local and regional authorities have to cope with;
  • Protect public spaces against terrorism and develop security by design;
  • Preserve the openness of European cities;
  • Find a shared vision and understanding of security;
  • Ensure convergence of urban security policies while respecting city differences;
  • Enhance the feeling of security of the EU population;
  • Ensure security through social cohesion;
  • Improve the use of smart and safe technologies to secure cities;
  • Empower society to be responsible of its own security and better involve citizens.

The Partnership brings together capital cities, large and small urban areas but also regions. It is coordinated by the City of Nice (FR), the European Forum for Urban Security - Efus, and the Madrid City Council (ES).

The Partnership currently comprises - in addition to the Coordinators, 10 more Partners which are: City of Helsinki (FI); City of Mechelen (BE); Métropole Européenne de Lille (FR); Union of Romagna Faentina (IT); Regione Toscana (IT); Brussels-Capital Region (BE); Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning (HR); Riga City Council (LV); Ministry of Transport (CZ).

Other participants include the European Commission (DG REGIO, DG HOME, JRC, DG CONNECT, DG EMPL, ...) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Finally, other actors and observers include the City of Toruń (PL); Eurocities, the Urbact Secretariat, UN Habitat and the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA).


How these Actions were selected

In its Orientation Phase, the Partnership has identified 3 thematic priorities:

  • Urban Planning and Design 'to create safer cities',
  • Technology and Security for Smart and Safe Cities,
  • Managing security and sharing public spaces.

These three priority areas have been the foundation on which the work of the Partnership has been built upon. Starting from these, the Actions identification and shortlisting process (Scoping Phase) has started.

In the scoping phase a long list of Actions was pulled together based on inputs provided by all Partners.  The full list comprised 21 Actions across the three thematic areas and Urban Agenda objectives (Better Funding, Better Regulation and Better Knowledge). For each, information was collected in order to define the Action profile and level of interest by the Partners and determine whether it would meet the following criteria:

  1. The Action is well placed in the UA context;
  2. The Action is realistic and can be implemented (feasibility);
  3. The Action brings added value to what has already been done;
  4. The Partnership has expertise and capacity to implement it.

Based on these, and the interest shown by the different Partners on the various Actions, a final shortlisting and clustering exercise was completed at the fourth Partnership meeting, held in October 2019.

The Actions selection was also based on the mapping of all relevant EU legislations and regulations, relevant funding sources, projects and networks existing in the domain of Security in Public Spaces.  In October 2019 the Partnership has hosted a panel debate during the European Week of Regions and Cities where it has presented its main priorities and tentative Actions to gather feedback and advice. Further, group and bilateral consultations have involved different European Commission DGs, URBACT as well as UN HABITAT. Partners have looked for synergies with other existing initiatives and projects to ensure coordination and avoid duplication. 



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