Recent terrorist attacks carried out across the EU have underlined the need to improve the protection of public spaces. To this end, the Council approved today conclusions on the protection of public spaces.
In these conclusions the Council invites the Commission to explore further opportunities to support projects and initiatives to improve the protection of public spaces and community resilience. It also encourages member states to support the development and implementation of security-by-design concepts in public spaces.
The Council urges Europol to continue exploring digital technologies and countermeasures to put in place against terrorist attacks in public spaces. The focus of this research could be directed at developing explosives detection techniques, protection against drones and serious cybercrime, and use of artificial intelligence in the processing of large data sets.
The Council also recommends that member states examine their national legal frameworks with a view to restricting non-legitimate carrying of bladed weapons in public spaces and major events, as well as consider developing specific protection measures with regard to places of worship. It encourages member states to continue analysing security guidance and tools for rental vehicle operators to prevent and mitigate the risk of vehicle attacks in public spaces.
The Council advises member states to develop, engage and actively participate in projects concerning the protection of public spaces and crowded places with the aim of cooperating and sharing knowledge. It advises them to continue to organise practical exercises and joint training in order to improve the preparedness and response of law enforcement and the first respondent community. It also calls on member states to raise awareness among cities about existing EU initiatives which facilitate the sharing of good practices and support projects led by local level.