Security, Democracy and Cities Declaration

adopted in Nice on 22 October 2021

We, elected officials and representatives of the local and regional authorities that are members of the European Forum for Urban Security,

based on the recommendations of the Security, Democracy and Cities: Co-producing Urban Security Policies 2017 Manifesto, on the Declaration of Nice of 29 September 2017, Cities action for preventing violent extremism and securing urban spaces in Europe and the Mediterranean, and on the Security in public spaces Partnership of the Urban Agenda for the EU, adopt the following resolution as a result of the Security, Democracy and Cities international conference held in Nice on 20-22 October 2021, on the basis of the consensus established within our network.

We are convinced that:

European cities and regions play a central role in designing and implementing transverse security policies based on a balance between prevention, sanction and social cohesion.

Local and regional authorities, whatever their size, country, or political colour, play a central role in the response to different types of crisis, whether linked to security (terrorist attacks), health (the Covid pandemic), or the environment (storms, floods, earthquakes, wildfires, etc.).

Cities and regions have to make significant investments in order to protect public spaces, evaluate security needs as early as in the design stage, anticipate and respond to crises and offer citizens the best possible protection. This requires mobilising the best available expertise and technologies, depending on the context, and being able to access sustainable financial support.

Urban security actions can be efficiently implemented at the local level through local security partnerships, as local stakeholders are best placed to either prevent or respond to a wide range of security issues.

City mayors play a key role in establishing and operationalizing such partnerships and to support a transverse, coordinated approach. 

Security policies and actions must be co-produced with all the relevant stakeholders in order to design practical and flexible actions that contribute to social cohesion and sustainable development.

It is necessary to collaborate in a continued and productive manner with national and European institutions in order to implement adapted policies and practical and adequate actions as part of a holistic and transverse approach.

The European Forum for Urban Security promotes and facilitates such multi-level collaboration. It regularly exchanges with the European Union’s Directorates General, the European Parliament, notably its URBAN intergroup, the European Committee of the Regions and the Council of Europe.

We, local and regional elected officials and representatives gathered at the Security, Democracy and Cities international conference, commit to:

– Pursuing our investment in engineering and prospective to ensure that policies are based on evidence and that they are sustainable and in line with society’s evolution.

– Adopting an efficient security architecture and organisation that is adapted to emerging needs in terms of protection of both the population and public spaces in the face of multiple crises.

– Strengthening local partnerships with all the urban development stakeholders, notably civil society and the private sector, in order to foster the co-production of the relevant policies.

– Maintaining our close cooperation with the European institutions and strengthening multi-level governance.

– Bringing the EU closer to its citizens through enhanced exchanges and collaboration between the local, regional and European levels of governance. 

We, local and regional elected officials and representatives gathered at the Security, Democracy and Cities international conference, call the European institutions to:

– Further support the exchange of experiences and cooperation between cities and regions in urban security matters at the European and global level.

– Foster at the local level transverse, coordinated approaches aimed notably at strengthening the link between security and climate change.

– Facilitate cities’ access to funding, advice and support to enable them to respond to current challenges and be more resilient.

– Ensure the sustainability of cooperation bodies and frameworks, notably the Partnership on the security of public spaces of the Urban Agenda for the European Union, on the basis of its concrete actions and recommendations.

– Advance the project of Convention of Mayors on Security that would be led by the European Forum for Urban Security and would foster a regular dialogue among European cities, whatever their size, country and political colour, and the European institutions on their respective strategies.

– Accompany such Convention of Mayors with an Operational Mechanism aimed at supporting local and regional authorities and building their capacities. This agile and flexible European mechanism would support the design and implementation of experimental or innovative projects carried out at the local level by municipalities.

– Ensure European funding opportunities, besides the EU’s Solidarity Fund and investment initiative launched in response to the Covid-19 crisis, to directly help cities to better anticipate and manage the multiple crises they are facing, in a swift and efficient manner.

Establishing the Convention of Mayors for Security and the operational support Mechanism as well as these new funding opportunities will give concrete form to the EU’s commitment to urban security and resilience.

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