Following the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus) 2012 Conference on “the future of prevention”, after which the manifesto Security, Democracy and Cities: The Manifesto of Aubervilliers and Saint-Denis was published; Efus launched an initiative called “Sharing the Manifesto”. This initiative aims to encourage dialogue between local European authorities, civil society and other parties involved in urban safety and security issues. As part of the initiative, debates, conferences, study days and many other events have been organised with and by local authorities, with citizens and at the institutional level.
These events emphasise the principles of the Manifesto, in which local authorities from all over Europe demonstrate their commitment to five major points:
- Long term prevention policies must be endorsed
- Prevention is a rational and strategic choice
- Citizen participation, especially youth participation, must be a fundamental principle
- Women’s rights and sexual equality must be constantly promoted
- Security policies must be systematically evaluated
In total over 1000 people took part in the Manifesto Days held in 2013 in Liège (Belgium), London (UK), Brac (HR), Brno (CZ), Reggio Emilia (IT), Lisbon (PT), L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (ES) et Sosnowiec (PL).
During these meetings, Efus produced a short film to record the opinions of different European citizens on five themes: crime prevention, citizen participation, the role of local authorities, evaluation of security policies and European membership.
Efus and its members (European local authorities) are aiming to encourage citizen participation in local debates on urban security. Their participation is a source of sustainable democracy and cohesion, for security is a public good to be developed and shared by everyone.
Some of these events focused on one or several of the themes that derive from the 19 thematic recommendations of the Manifesto: Sport and prevention, Citizen participation, Tourism, Sharing public spaces, Mediation, Violence in schools and School drop-outs.
On 10 December 2013 Efus organised a European debate in Brussels called “From Cities to Europe” (read the article). This debate was held with the support of the Committee of the Regions and was attended by representatives from European institutions. During this debate, local elected officials called for the promotion of citizen participation in urban security policies, as well as for more support and for the European Union to take greater consideration of the role played by cities.
In 2014, Efus continues to share the Manifesto of Aubervilliers and Saint-Denis in partnership with its member communities in order to encourage citizen debate on urban security issues in Greece, Germany, Italy, etc.