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COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

Brussels, 1 July 2004

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ADDENDUM TO NOTE from : Presidency to : Police Cooperation Working Party No. prev. doc. : OJ L 333, 10.12.2002, p.1, art. 4 and 5 Subject : First Annual Report of the European network for the protection of public figures

Report of the first annual meeting of the European Network for the protection of public figures

1) The first annual meeting of the European Network for the protection of public figures was held in the Europol building in The Hague on 22 and 23 April 2004, at the initiative of the incoming Dutch Presidency. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Guus Appels, Head of the Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department of the Netherlands. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Network and delegates of the EU Council Police Co-operation Working Group of all Member States and Accession Countries. Observers from Norway, the Commission and Europol also participated.

2) After the welcome address by the chairman, Mr. Jrgen Storbeck, the director of Europol, welcomed delegations to the Europol building. He emphasized the importance of the work of the Network and offered all the facilities of Europol as the centre of excellence (terrorism).

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3) Mr. Jan-Kees Goet, Head of the Police Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and incoming chair of the Police Co-operation Working Party, addressed the meeting. He announced that the Dutch Presidency intends to devote time to the development of the work of the Network during the second half of 2004. Since public figures travel more frequently than before and threats to them have increased the last years, he was of the opinion that the Network has an important role to play in strengthening operational co-operation in the EU. The national rules and practices for the protection of public figures differ from one country to another. It is important to promote police cooperation before public figures cross national borders. It could be envisaged to develop a format or even protocols for that purpose. Also the training aspect should be looked at. For that purpose a European strategy for the protection of public figures should be set up. In his view the outcome of the meeting should be a working programme of the Network for the next years. The continuation of this work has already been assured through an agreement with the incoming Presidencies of Luxembourg and the United Kingdom.

4) In a Tour de table delegations were invited to discuss about areas in which co-operation can be improved with regard to the protection of public figures in the European Union. The following items were mentioned: a) the exchange of basic information between the contact points that are responsible for the protection of public figures in the Member States should be improved b) there is a mutual need to know what the other service is requiring and providing the host country c) d) e) an inventory of the special available equipment in the Member States better exchange of information will lead to the building of confidence the list of contact points should be updated regularly and should contain the professional address of the service (24h/7d) f) a (safe) communication system should be set up between contact points of the Network in order to arrange the preparation of visits of public figures and exchange threat assessments g) general information on rules and practices (carrying and using weapons included) that apply in case a public figure visits (officially or privately) another Member State should be exchanged, this information could be standardised and compiled in a common database and the Network could develop fixed protocols for that purpose; some contact points prefer an agreement on EU level for carrying weapons in the host country

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h)

a common mechanism and contribution understanding on threat assessments could be studied by the Network

i)

information on modus operandi and techniques used by attackers, incidents and preventing policies should be shared among the members of the Network

j)

best practices should be exchanged for the purpose of recruitment and training of officers dealing with the protection of public figures

k)

joint operation methods and common action at major political, cultural and sporting events could be studied by the Network

l) m)

national lists of the protection of officials in their special capacity the task and role of the liaison officer in the host country

5) Mr. Alain Lefvre, Director of the Public Order Crisis Centre in Belgium, held a presentation on the Belgian Crisis Centre, Protection and European Summits. He explained that the Crisis Centre has several tasks, among which a round the clock duty, planning, coordination and follow-up of major events, security of VIPs and institutions, infrastructure for crisis management and emergency planning. In the case of an event that could pose a threat to public order such as major trade union demonstrations and terrorist threats the Centre makes sure that the administrative planning is guaranteed, that the maintenance of public order and security is coordinated and that the Minister of Home Affairs is informed on a permanent basis. The Crisis Centre specifically plays an important role in the preparation of European Summits. Mr. Lefvre proposed several conclusions/recommendations to the network: a) coordination, which is one of the roles of the network b) exchange of information, evaluation and device c) (common) mechanism for evaluation of threats d) exchange of best practices e) (avoiding/deal with) delays in the transmission of the information f) limitation of the delegates and of the cars in the security cell g) facilities for the issue of gun licences between the member states of the Union h) cross border cooperation, this should make it possible to follow protection across the border.

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6) Mr. Aping from Germany, president of the Association of Personal Protection Services (APPS), the informal network of officials who are responsible for the protection of public figures, informed the meeting that APPS will have its next meeting in Poland, June 6-10.

7) In a brainstorm session the chairman invited the participants of the meeting to share their thoughts on possible items to be included in formats that could be used in the preparation and execution of visits of public figures to other Member States. Many delegates were of the opinion that this information should be compiled in form of a handbook.

8) The second day the chairman introduced the topic of carrying firearms across borders. In order to get an overview he asked: What are the rules in your country applying to foreign security officers? What are the number of armed officers accompanying a Head of State, a Prime Minister or a Minister? What type of firearm is allowed (handguns (automatic or not), rifles or machineguns)? What type of ammunition is allowed (type, quantity and calibre)? What competent authority in the host country issues the licence?

All delegations gave an overview of the rules and practices applicable in their country. For some delegations the carrying of weapons across borders is not allowed, while for other delegations very little limitations exist. For most delegations the number of weapons that are allowed is limited to an exact amount and only for a specific type of weapon. In most countries the foreign security officer is accompanied by a security officer of the host State. The chairman concluded that following the presentations it appeared that in all countries different rules apply. He announced that he would send out a questionnaire to Member States in which he would ask further details of the rules applying to the carrying of weapons across borders and he asked, if possible, to send the chair a summary (in English) of the relevant legislation.

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