Summary: EU-UN: EU research project boosts security of major events worldwide (7 December 2006: Brussels)
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Today at the UN Headquarters in New York, the European Commission will present the results of a research project, EU-SEC, looking for ways to improve security at major events, such as the Olympics, Football World Championships or international summits. The project is coordinated by the UN and brings together the interior ministries and police authorities of 10 EU countries, as well as the European Police Agency. The partners have developed a handbook of best practice for security at major events and will pool their national research programmes to support targeted research into explosives detection, use and control of private security and public-information. The project will be presented at a UN conference on "Enhancing Security at Major World Events". It has received €1.8m financing from the EU's Research Framework Programme.
EU Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik said "We all love to attend big events like the World Cup and the Olympics, but security at these mass events is a concern. This project is a good example of research that will improve our lives, and really demonstrates that we can do things much better when we work together."
Vice-President Franco Frattini, Commissioner responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security concluded that "the results of this research help to boost co-operation among national, European and international authorities. They should also be taken forward in practical policy on security of mass events."
Vice President Günter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industrial policy, said: "The Commission is determined to do its part to better protect our citizens and fund EU-wide targeted research efforts. A strong European security research programme will also enhance Europe's competitive edge in many areas."
The EU-SEC project brings together the interior ministries or police authorities of Austria, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, UK, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands and Portugal, as well as the European Police Agency and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Centre (UNICRI). When it started in August 2004 the EU-SEC project focussed on networking activities, identifying relevant research programmes at national level and creating websites and manuals. The project is now moving to develop a framework for creating joint research activities, pooling national resources, in areas such as explosives detection, managing the flow of information to the public and the interaction between public and private security organisations.
The UN conference on Enhancing Security at Major World Events on 7 December is organised by UNICRI. UNICRI runs the International Permanent Observatory on Security Measures during Major Events, which is there to provide support to planners of major events anywhere in the world. Major events include international sporting competitions, such as the Football World Cup, or the Olympics, or political gatherings such as the G8 Summit, or the APEC Summit. EU-SEC is showcased as a good example of a regional initiative in this area.
Security research is now a thematic priority in the EU's Research Framework Programme FP7 and will have a budget of €1.35 billion for 2007-2013. FP7 will support research to protect Europeans from threats such as terrorism, natural disasters and crime. Priorities will be security of citizens; security of infrastructure and utilities; intelligent surveillance and border security; restoring security and safety in case of crisis; security systems; and social aspects.
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For more information on the project: