The Manifesto

Security, Democracy and Cities: 
Co-producing Urban Security Policies

What is the Manifesto?

The Manifesto: Security, Democracy and Cities: Co-producing Urban Security Policies (DE-EN-ES-FR-IT-PT) is a political platform on urban security which brings together all the principles that form the foundations of Efus’ and its members’ actions. It forms a future plan of action for local authorities that can be followed during the years to come.

It was adopted on 17 november 2017 during the closing session of the international Security, Democracy and Cities conference: Co-producing Urban Security Policies, organised by the Efus, the City of Barcelona and the Government of Catalonia on 15, 16 and 17 November 2017.

It constitutes a continuation of the principles and recommendations of the Manifestos Security, Democracy and Cities: the future of prevention Aubervilliers and Saint-Denis 2012, Security, Democracy and Cities Saragossa 2006, Security, Democracy and Cities Naples 2000.

An updated version based on discussions at the last Security, Democracy and Cities conference held in Brussels in March 2024 will be available in June 2024.

What does it say?

The Manifesto expresses the common principles and values that underpin the European Forum for Urban Security. It contains over 60 practical recommendations.

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 authority members 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 population groups that are victim to 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, however 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.

How was it written?

The Manifesto Security, Democracy and Cities: Co-producing Urban Security Policies,  is the product of a collective writing process, based on many years of work by Efus, its members – local and regional authorities – and the whole of its ecosystem (universities, European and international organisations, specialised networks) as well as concrete recommendations from the thematic workshops of Efus’ latest international conference held in Barcelona.

For more information on how the Manifesto was produced, please watch our informative animated video:

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