Technology, Security and Freedom in an Urban Context

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Paris, April 2015 – The Snowden revelations and the terrorist attacks in Paris and Copenhagen earlier this year have once again fuelled public debate in Europe about the balance between security and freedom. The European Forum for Urban Security (Efus) considers this theme to be a priority and has been working on it for the past few years. “Surveillance and Freedom in Europe” will be one of the key issues of this year’s State of the Union conference, an annual event for high-level reflection on Europe organised by the European University Institute (EUI), which will be held on 6-9 May 2015 in Florence (Italy).

Efus to lead a panel on “Technology, Security and Freedom in an Urban Context”

The European Forum has been invited to organise a panel at the conference focusing on the use of technological innovations in urban security by European local authorities, titled “Technology, Security and Freedom in an Urban Context”. The Mayors of Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Florence (Italy), Ahmed Aboutaleb and Dario Nardella, the minister of the Interior of the Spanish autonomous region of Catalonia, Ramon Espadaler Parcerisas, and the Vice President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Leen Verbeek, have accepted the invitation of Efus President, Guilherme Pinto, and EUI President, Prof. J.H.H. Weiler, to intervene.
The panel will discuss how local and regional authorities can play a role in the European debate on security and freedom. Participants will show how their cities make use of new opportunities and technologies to improve the quality of life and security of citizens.

Insights from the SURVEILLE project to be presented at the conference

Insights from the SURVEILLE three-year research project, to which Efus contributed as a partner, will be presented at the conference on the State of the Union. During this project, European researchers collaborated with technology developers and end-users to analyse the classic dilemma between freedom and security. “We have developed an analytical and multidisciplinary framework to measure whether surveillance methods actually deliver security and at what financial cost, how to map and grade the ethical concerns that result and how to measure the intrusion into privacy and other human rights. In short we have developed a three-dimensional method of measurement,” Prof. Martin Scheinin, the project coordinator, told EUI-Times.

Even though the conference is reserved for invited guests and fully booked, Efus may be able to obtain access for interested members. Please contact Emilie Voight at Efus for more information: