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European Security Model

CCI intervention in the European Security Model

.0 Introduction

The EU-funded Horizon 2020 project Cutting Crime Impact (CCI) undertook to develop an extended version of the European Security Model that included consideration of so-called 'petty crime'. However, research undertaken through literature review and interviews with security policymakers and experts to identify the European Security Model, revealed that such a model did not in fact exist — despite being referred to in several documents. (see, for example, European Union (2010) here).

Having identified this gap in the security policy literature, the CCI project undertook to analyse the shape and nature of said gap. Through structured workshop activity with consortium and advisory board members, CCI researchers designed and prototyped the European Security Model (see Figure above). The Model was launched at the Designing Security Futures conference in Brussels on 25 November 2021.

2.0 Description

2.1 European Values

The EU-funded Horizon 2020 project Cutting Crime Impact (CCI) undertook to develop an extended version of the European Security Model that included consideration of so-called 'petty crime'. However, research undertaken through literature review and interviews with security policymakers and experts to identify the European Security Model, revealed that such a model did not in fact exist — despite being referred to in several documents. (see, for example, European Union (2010) here).

As outlined in the preamble to the Treaty on the European Union (TEU), member states are attached "…to the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law." Article 2 TEU sentence 1 states that "…the Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities." In addition, Article 10 TEU paragraph 1 points out that "…the functioning of the Union shall be founded on representative democracy” (see here). In essence, public administration (including law enforcement) in the EU and its member states is bound by the rule of law, has the objective to promote human dignity (as detailed further through individual fundamental rights and freedoms), and is controlled by the people — organised in a system of representative democracy.

Thus European values might be said to include:

  • Freedom & fundamental human rights
  • Democratic control
  • Transparency & accountability
  • Dialogue
  • Equality
  • Justice & the rule of law
  • Truth & integrity
  • Respect for ethics
  • European exceptionalism

The final value in this list — 'European exceptionalism' — was added by CCI researchers. This value is related to "the European idea" (l'idée d'Europe) associated with political values derived from the Age of Enlightenment. It is the premise that European values are culturally framed by a unique, shared historic perspective dating back to the renaissance, one that is distinct from other (e.g. North American) perspectives, and is of value in itself.

Figure 1. The European Security Model

 European Security Model

2.2 Principles of European Security

Research undertaken by the CCI project identified five 'Principles of European Security' that follow from the European Values:

  • Citizen-centred: Organised around human needs and priorities
  • Transdisciplinary: Engaging with and working across multiple disciplines; seeking others' expertise and world views; valuing holistic approaches
  • Preventative: Prioritising prevention; proactive, strategic and intelligent; preventing harm
  • Collaborative: Working together; engaging with partners; recognising shared problems, goals and interests; establishing consortiums, partnerships and teams (the antithesis to the 'lone wolf')
  • Demonstrable: Evidence-based; valuing the tested and demonstrated; rational and analysis-driven; practical and context-appropriate; evaluated.

2.3 Strategies

2.3.1 Citizen-centred

  • Understand citizen behaviour & perspective: Enabling improved understanding of citizens' experience, perceptions and behaviours to better address problems and create appropriate and acceptable solutions.
  • Promote & support community-based approaches: Enabling and empowering EU citizens to contribute to security. This includes supporting community-based initiatives in member states that attempt to co-opt citizens in the creation of safe and secure neighbourhoods.

2.3.2 Transdisciplinary

  • Engage & benefit from all disciplines: Recognising the benefits of engaging a broad range of disciplines in tackling complex societal challenges and contexts, and supporting transdisciplinary action. Security is not just a Criminal Justice Service (CJS) role.
  • Meaningfully engage civil society: Valuing and ensuring genuine engagement with civil society in scoping and addressing security issues.

2.3.3 Preventative

  • Promote & support preventative approaches: Promoting proactive, prevention activities and supporting the development of improved strategic capability in effective crime prevention.
  • Identify emerging & future problems: Developing an understanding of emerging problems and supporting development of appropriate preparedness for future challenges.

2.3.4 Collaborative

  • Address problems across states: Recognising the shared nature of problems and goals. Supporting problem-solving across member states, to address cross-border and transnational issues. Supporting member states to work together to improve effectiveness in tackling common problems.
  • Share solutions across member states / agencies: Supporting the sharing of solutions across member states and between the various agencies involved in creating security.
  • Promote & support partnership working: Encouraging and enabling inter-organisation working, partnerships and collaborations to more effectively tackle security issues.

2.3.5 Demonstrable

  • Understand problems & context:  Supporting and enabling the improved systemic understanding and framing of problems through high-quality, contextual research that provides real insight.
  • Prototype test with end-users: Maximising the feasibility, practicality and acceptability of solutions through prototype testing with end users (early and often), and thereby supporting implementation.
  • Assess impact & share 'what works and why': Supporting practical assessment of policies, strategies and solutions to better understand what works, why it works, and share this with relevant practitioners and stakeholders

3. Relationship to the European Commission

In developing the European Security Model, the CCI project indicates its relationship to the European Commission. The role of the European Commission in relation to the European Security Model is envisaged as “The Guardian of the Flame of European enlightenment”.

4. Conclusion

The European Security Model serves a number of functions:

  • It presents a coherent framework for European security strategies in the context of value-based principles and principle-based action
  • It allows structured, critical assessment of European security strategy, including the European Security Research Programme
  • It provides a framework for future security research topics and areas, providing a vision for research that engages with fundamental European values
  • It communicates the breadth of the security policymaker and law enforcement roles, and supports service and capability development
  • It raises questions as to the appropriateness of security policy focusing on narrow, high-profile risks while failing to address broader issues that negatively impact citizens' everyday experience — such as so-called 'petty crime’.

Five ways in which addressing petty crime is implicit within the European Security Model

  1. To be citizen-centred, security must address problems impacting citizens’ quality of life — this includes everyday crime and citizens' feelings of insecurity
  2. Transdisciplinary approaches are already used to understand and address petty crime. For example, in Crime Prevention through Urban Design and Planning (CP-UDP)
  3. The principle of prevention is key to tackling petty crime and reducing harm to citizens
  4. There is much good practice around tackling petty crime that should be shared across member states and between practitioners and policymakers
  5. Evidence exists regarding ‘what works and why' in addressing petty crime, but as the nature of crimes change new knowledge needs to be developed and shared

 

Download the official Briefing Paper HERE

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