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European network for the protection of public figures
To improve police cooperation during visits by public figures to one of the Member States, by creating a network of contact points.
Initiative of the Kingdom of Spain setting up a European network for the protection of public figures [Official Journal C 42, 15.02.2002].
In view of the proliferation of transnational activities undertaken by public figures from both the Member States and non-member countries, the European Union plans to set up a protection system. At present no provision is made at Community level for either common legislation or a joint practical manual. On 6 December 2001 the Council adopted a recommendation laying down a common scale for evaluating the threat to public figures visiting the European Union. Bearing in mind the threat of terrorist attacks against certain public figures, the Council called on Member States to intensify the exchange of information without creating new institutional structures (Official Journal C 356, 14.12.2001).
Police cooperation within the European Union should be improved by defining, among other things:
- the concept of a public figure and the maximum number of armed and unarmed officials that may accompany such a figure;
- relations between the protocol departments, press offices and emergency medical teams;
- the arrangements for the exchange of information and the use of technical equipment.
The aim of the initiative is to create a network of contact points to be chaired by the Member State holding the EU Presidency. Each member country will be required to designate as national contact point the department of the national police responsible for the protection of public figures.
The Commission, Europol, and the countries applying for EU membership will also be able to designate a contact point.
The aims of the network will be to:
- exchange information, officials and good practice;
- create a database.
In order to achieve these objectives the network will have to cooperate with other police departments, devise joint working methods and simplify procedures.
The Council will have to evaluate the work of the network two years after its creation.
Consultation procedure CNS/2002/0801
The initiative was sent to the European Parliament for its opinion on 29 January 2002.