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The European Union lasting legacy of improved security capacity at major events: The House

Berlin -

The European Union lasting legacy of improved security capacity at major events: The House Berlin, 27 May 2014.

After two years of activities, the project The House, Enhancing National Research Programmes in the Area of Security at Major Events, funded by the European Commission - DG Enterprise & Industry - has successfully concluded its mission. The last act of this European initiative will be the two day conference that will take place in Berlin on 27-28 May 2014.

Major events such as Olympic Games, high-level political summits, international expos, and national and religious festivals, require international cooperation for their security planning. They are windows of opportunity for strategic improvement in national security planning and policing practices due to the fact that they are often accompanied by substantial increases in the financial, human, social, technological, and other resources.

The House Project, coordinated by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and involving a Consortium of 24 EU Member States, Europol and CEPOL, represents the third phase of a common research initiative which started in 2004. It aims at harmonizing major event security planning and advancing towards a common policing approach in Europe.The House Project exemplifies the excellent results that the collaboration among EU Member Countries, the European Commission and the United Nations can bring about.

During the previous phase of the project, EU- SEC II, a number of best practices for major event security planning including: a Common Planning Model, Guidelines for Private Public Partnerships, Guidelines for Media Management and Ethical Guidelines for the use of security products were elaborated.

In the implementation period of the House, the Consortium field-tested these models and guidelines at a series of major events held in Europe. These included two presidencies of the Council of the European Union (in Ireland and Lithuania), the UEFA European Football Championships in Poland and the Nuclear Safety Summit in the Netherlands.

During the concluding conference in Berlin, the Manual "User Guidelines for Police, Security Planners and Policy Makers" will be launched. This Manual is a practical tool prepared for European policymakers, major event security planners and other security practitioners, which complements the EU-SEC II Manual issued in 2011. It serves as a guide on how to make full use of The House services.

The House Project and its predecessors, EU-SEC and EU-SEC II, have been making, and continue to make, a significant contribution to the coordination of European major events security planning. The objective of the partners is to create a lasting legacy of improved security capacity, common standards and efficient procedures, and increased regional and international cooperation among security practitioners. In this way, the windows of opportunity offered by major events are capitalized in terms of the security of the events themselves, the maximization of the enjoyment of the events for all and the potential for enhancement of security policies, practices and cooperation.

In the long term, the maintenance and expansion of this network of security practitioners will ensure that the impact of The House goes far beyond major events security as it contributes to the achievement of the main security priorities of the EU, in particular the Stockholm Program and the EU Internal Security Strategy (ISS) which call for “more effective European law enforcement cooperation.”

According to the UNICRI Director Jonathan Lucas “The House project reflects the strong and continued commitment of European Union Member States to strengthen coordination of policy and practice in the area of major events security. Moreover, the implementation of The House Project during the past years is a success story concretely demonstrating the benefits of a factual coordination of major events security at the European level.”