The Security, Democracy and Cities – Co-producing urban security policies manifesto is available

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The Security, Democracy and Cities – Co-producing urban security policies manifesto was adopted at the end of the eponymous conference organised by the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus), the City of Barcelona and the Government of Catalonia on 15-17 November 2017, in Barcelona.

It is now available online in seven languages: CZ-DE-EL-EN-ES-FR-IT-NL-PL-PT.

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Common principles and values

The manifesto is the continuation of the manifestos of Aubervilliers and Saint-Denis (2012), Saragossa (2006) and Naples (2000). It was written collectively on the basis of the work carried out by Efus, member local and regional authorities and the network at large (universities, European and international organisations, thematic networks), as well as on the practical recommendations that resulted from all the thematic workshops held during the Forum’s last international conference, in Barcelona.

The manifesto expresses the common principles and values that underpin the European Forum for Urban Security. It is meant to be a source of support and inspiration for local authorities when designing and promoting their security policies. It is also meant to express the views of local elected officials to national, European and international institutions. Finally, it serves as a support of debate with European citizens with the aim of encouraging their active involvement.

Over 60 practical recommendations and commitments

The Barcelona conference, which was focused on the co-production of urban security policies, gathered during three days local elected officials, representatives of law enforcement, the justice system and the third sector, researchers and academics, as well civil society members and representatives of the private sector from 130 cities, 47 countries and all five continents.

Together, they drafted over 60 thematic recommendations and commitments. These concern 12 topics:

– a responsible nightlife

– cities and organised crime

– cities facing drugs and addictions

– designing and managing public spaces

– discriminatory violence

– diversification of security stakeholders

– preventing radicalisation leading to violent extremism

– preventing violence against women

– relationships between citizens and institutions

– rethinking the collection and assessment of evidence

– security risk management and cross-border cooperation

– technologies for prevention

The need for co-production to improve the inclusiveness of policies

Since the 2012 Manifesto of Aubervilliers and Saint-Denis, there has been throughout Europe a diversification of the stakeholders involved in security policies. Indeed, private security companies, non governmental organisations and representatives of civil society as well as individual citizens play an increasing role in these policies.

Local and regional authorities member of Efus thus call for involving all these stakeholders not only in the implementation but also the design of security policies. They call for co-production mechanisms that involve civil society in all its diversity. In particular, women, young people, seniors and groups of population that are victim of discriminatory violence should not be mere passive targets of prevention measures but rather play an active role in security policies.

The necessary alliance between security and human rights

The terrorist threats and the demands of the population in terms of security are important constraints for political decision makers who can be tempted to act precipitously or guided by emotion. Efus elected officials stress that political action, whatever urgent, should never infringe on the respect of human rights. This is why they link the Manifesto with the European Charter of Human Rights.

They recall that security policies must be founded on the respect and defence of fundamental rights, the rule of law, democratic legitimacy and the principle of the welfare state. They stress the need to counter social and economic inequalities, which remain too widespread in Europe. These inequalities create resentment, which in turn can degenerate into violence, crime or even violent extremism.

Lastly, they recall the importance of crime prevention as a rational, strategic, and cost-effective option.

The manifesto is available free of charge for Efus members, in PDF format, on Efus Network (https://efus.elium.com/tile/view/6762). All members will receive shortly a printed copy. If you wish to receive a printed copy and are not a member, please contact the communications department: communication@efus.eu.

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