Paris, France, January 2019 – Efus, which is the coordinator together with the cities of Nice (FR) and Madrid (ES) of the new Partnership on the security of public spaces of the European Union’s Urban Agenda, organised the kickoff meeting on 25 January, in Paris.
The meeting was introduced by Nicolaas Beets, Special Urban Envoy of the Dutch government, who explained the process that led to the Pact of Amsterdam and the design of the EU’s Urban Agenda. One of the priorities of this Agenda is to involve local and regional authorities in the drafting of European policies.
The European Commission, represented by Francesco Amodeo, of the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO), presented the main challenges, opportunities and objectives of the partnership, and stressed the unique added value for the EU of the Urban Agenda approach.
Speaking for Efus, Elizabeth Johnston, Executive Director, stressed that public spaces are symbols of the identity of cities as well as places where social links are created and nourished. For his part, Sébastien Viano, Director Europe and External Funding of the City of Nice, emphasised the need to work jointly at EU level.
Participants then exchanged on their security challenges and expectations for this new partnership, focusing on a number of key themes : crime prevention, technology, improving guidelines and laws, and exchanging practices.
> Cities have a role to play in designing European security policies
Through this three-year partnership, European local authorities, Member States and institutions will work together to strengthen the role of cities in European urban security policies, increase the sharing of knowledge and good practices, and advocate at European level legislative reform and new funding frameworks.
As co-coordinator, Efus reaffirms the need to reflect on issues as early as in the design of urban programmes rather than in reaction to problems that arise in the urban environment.
The next meeting of the Partnership on the security of public spaces, coordinated by Efus and the cities of Nice and Madrid, will be held in April in Nice.
Furthermore, Efus took part in a meeting of the coordinators of all 13 Urban Agenda Partnerships where they exchanged experiences and suggestions, on 11 February in Brussels.