The European Commission (EC) is inviting proposals to Improve Preparedness on Attacks to Public Spaces.
Public spaces such as squares, sport venues, shopping districts, places of worship or touristic attractions have been the target of numerous terrorist and other violent attacks causing significant loss of lives and causing societal insecurity as well as economic losses.
The means to carry out such attacks from one or several attackers range from sophisticated and well-planned scenarios including several attackers using explosives and firearms, up to so called low-cost attacks making use of everyday goods such as cars, axes and kitchen knives.
Such attacks have proven to be very difficult to prevent and quick-reaction and preparedness to respond are the crucial elements in reducing their impact.
The aim is to identify the inherent vulnerabilities of a specific target and thus to be able to put in place appropriate mitigation measures.
Such assessments are used in public spaces already by Police Authorities in case of large-scale events, official visits or as part of forward-looking city planning activities.
The impact on the quality and openness of public spaces should however be minimised as much as possible.
This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.
The full involvement of citizens and civil society organisations is crucial to achieve solutions that meet the requirement of having a balanced approach between security and openness of public spaces. Fundamental rights (including privacy) aspects should also be taken into account.
The check will normally be done for the coordinator if the requested grant amount is equal to or greater than EUR 500 000, except for:
- public bodies (entities established as a public body under national law, including local, regional or national authorities) or international organisations; and
- cases where the individual requested grant amount is not more than EUR 60 000 (low-value grant).
Projects results are expected to contribute to all of the following outcomes:
- Improved vulnerability assessments by law enforcement and local managers of public spaces with a specific focus on countering and/ or preventing terrorist attacks or other forms of severe violence (amok, mass-riots), including attacks with explosives, improvised weapons and vehicles;
- Better identification of specific vulnerabilities and elaboration of mitigation strategies by security practitioners and policy-makers due to the possibility to simulate attack-scenarios in any public space in realistic conditions and to test and train different prevention and response measures;
- Improved training of Police Authorities in collaboration with different public and private actors (e. g., crisis management and civil protection authorities, fire brigades, regulatory agencies, emergency health services, security managers, private security organisations, civil society groups etc.) to enhance their preparedness to attacks on public spaces;
- Enhanced planning capabilities of security practitioners and policy-makers due to the identification of potential vulnerabilities connected to the design/refurbishment and construction/improvement of different public spaces and measures to reduce them by implementing a comprehensive security-by-design approach in urban planning (also including aspects of social inclusion);
- Enhanced modelling capabilities of security practitioners, policy-makers and research institutions due to the identification of potential vulnerabilities connected to the different public spaces, analysis of crowd behaviour and possible emergence of various threats to security in order to minimise possible threats and vulnerabilities and supporting planning of respective resources and activities.
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions;
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States;
- eligible non-EU countries:
- countries associated to Horizon Europe;
- low- and middle-income countries.
For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3hmHrVT