The First Annual meeting of the PACTESUR (Protect Allied Cities against TErrorism in Securing Urban aReas)project took place in Gdansk, Poland, in early July 2019. Lina Kolesnikova reports.
Protecting public spaces from terrorist attacks was just one of the subjects discussed at pan-European level (image: Paul Rommer/123rf)
The escalation of threats and terrorist events across Europe in recent years have prompted this project, which aims to strengthen the capacities of cities and local actors in protecting and securing urban public spaces.
The aim of this meeting was to bring together participants from the Expert Advisory Committee, practitioners from associated cities and consortium members, so they could discuss and analyse topics such as the protection of public spaces, with the objective of producing a roadmap document for European local authorities.
Some of the more specific objectives of this event included: Fostering exchanges between experts and associated cities; learning about local governance systems on protecting public spaces; discussing the challenges, opportunities and priorities of vertical and horizontal information sharing and communication channels between government and citizens during the cycle of a crisis; gathering information about other European projects; and working out how to synergise the results.
Lina Kolesnikova, member of Crisis Response Journal’s Advisory Panel, and the author of this blog, moderated the expert group on the post-phase of a crisis.
Participants also undertook field study visits to the Lechia Gdańsk Football Stadium’s emergency and crisis centre.
Participants gathered in Gdansk, Poland (Image: Marti Navarro Regas)
At the Gdansk meeting, it was announced that the city of Nice will hold the first European Security Week, October 14 – 18, 2019. This week will also see a three-day training event for police forces and a two-day visit by members of the Expert Advisory Committee.
As a member of this committee, Lina Kolesnikova will make a presentation on new trends in soft target attacks and present the findings of the experts group in Gdansk.