February 2022 – Efus and the URBAN intergroup of the European Parliament, a cross-party structure that works on urban issues, organised on 11 February an online conference on multilevel governance for the co-production of urban security.
Representing the City of Liège (Belgium) and Mayor Willy Demeyer, who is President of Efus, Brigitte De Deyne, International relations officer, presented Efus’ objectives and the Security, Democracy and Cities Declaration, which calls for heightened and more agile cooperation as well as adequate financial support between the local, national and European levels of governance. Ms De Deyne called for the support of MEPs in implementing this objective.
Joint interest in a number of areas
Elizabeth Johnston, Efus Executive Director, explained Efus’ holistic approach to urban security involving all local actors as well as citizens in the co-production of policies, which means that Efus works on cross-cutting issues. She stressed that Efus and the URBAN intergroup could further collaborate on areas of joint interest, such as the environment, housing, the safety of senior citizens and the ageing population, and social issues.
The Urban Agenda Partnership on the Security of public spaces
Sébastien Viano, Director Europe, Euro-Mediterranean relations & External Funding at the Nice Côte d’Azur metropolitan area (France), and Werner Van Herle, Head of the Prevention and Security Department, City of Mechelen (Belgium), presented the Partnership on the Security of public spaces of the Urban Agenda for the EU, which is co-led by Efus and the Cities of Nice and Madrid (Spain). Mr Van Herle shared the experience of his city as a partner and action leader of this Partnership, which was set up in 2019 with the aim of strengthening the role of local and regional authorities in European urban security policies.
The Deputy Mayor of the City of Piraeus (Greece), Kyriaky Bourdakou, then presented the BeSecure-FeelSecure project it leads and in which Efus is a partner. Carried out under the Urban Agenda, the three-year project (2019-2022) seeks to introduce innovative solutions to enhance urban security and feelings of security among Piraeus residents, as well as to link and facilitate cooperation among local urban security stakeholders both in the physical and the cyber space. One of its main outcomes was the establishment of a Local Council for Crime Prevention (LCCP), which is chaired by the Deputy Mayor. Ms Bourdakou called for increased European support to ensure the sustainability of the measures introduced through the project.