EU security guidelines to combat protests

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The Police Cooperation Working Party of the Council of the European Union (the 15 EU governments) is drawing up a: "Security handbook for European Councils and other similar events". The handbook appears to be directed solely at combating protests, not terrorism. Full-text see: ENFOPOL 66

The stated objective is for police services guaranteeing that:

"legitimate demonstrations are not used to the advantage of other elements whole sole objective is to perpetrate acts of individual and group violence"

The tasks of national police forces is to collect, analysis and exchange information/intelligence on suspected "trouble-makers" and 21 days before an "event" send a "risk analysis" to the state hosting the event. This "risk analysis" to include the:

"following headings:

- groups known and likely to demonstrate at the event
- membership and distinguishing marks
- means of transport
- possible links with groups in other countries
- demonstration methods
- behaviour towards police services
- information held by the designated liaison officers in third countries relating to possible movements of people from these countries to the venue of the European Council or similar event"

Thirty days prior to an event each EU Member State will appoint a liaison officer "with the necessary experience in law and order" with:

"access to:

- all useful information sources in his [sic] home State on the matter of maintaining law and order, related criminal phenomena, and political, social, cultural and religious activism;

The liaison officers will go the event and work with local police and security forces.

Special attention is given to stopping target protestors travelling and for their expulsion, the section "Measures relating to the crossing of borders" says that Article 2.2 of the Schengen Convention should be invoked (to legitimise border checks) and that there should be:

"Use of existing legal possibilities to prevent persons known for breaches of the peace from travelling with the intention of organising, provoking or taking part in public disturbances.

Adoption of the instruments necessary for rapid and effective implementation of the expulsion measures possible.

Measures of coordination with participating countries in the event of demonstrators needing to be escorted by the police during their outward or return journey"

As to relations with the media, under the heading: "Relations with the media and groups concerned" says, extraordinarily:

"Relations with the media are complex, and any intervention on their part could give rise to misunderstandings liable to effect public opinion"

The origin of the security handbook stem from the Conclusions of the specially called meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 13 July 2001 - in-between Gothenburg and Genoa. For full background and analysis please see:

Background - Statewatch News online

Statewatch report on 13 July 2001 plans to counter protests: Report
Statewatch report on surveillance of protestors: Report
Statewatch report on EU plan to bring together para-military police units to counter protests: Report

Background - Statewatch Observatory 

Observatory on protests: Observatory

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