High-ranking police representatives meet in Berlin to discuss counter-terrorism plans

In response to a heightened threat of Jihadist terrorism across Europe in the wake of several serious terrorist incidents in recent months, an extraordinary meeting of high-ranking police representatives from the European Union Member States, Norway and Switzerland was held in Berlin on 7-8 February.

Organised by Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and the European Union’s law enforcement agency Europol, almost 100 participants gathered in Berlin at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to consider means by which to enhance the co-ordination of European policing efforts designed to fight terrorism.

Key topics under discussion included the current state of the terrorist threat in Europe following the attack in Berlin in December last year, Best Practice methodologies for police response to terrorist incidents and enhanced use of the European Counter-Terrorism Centre (ECTC) at Europol for the purpose of increasing information sharing and operational co-ordination between national counter-terrorism agencies.

The meeting concluded with a robust determination to reinforce national and European arrangements for co-operation via the ECTC, including through the establishment of an operational Steering Board of leading European Union Member States and Europol.

Holger Münch, president of the BKA, said: “Today’s terrorists are extremely mobile. They work together in international networks and take advantage of modern communications technology. We can only be successful in the fight against terrorism if all European security authorities work closely together and are co-ordinated by a central body. The most recent attacks in Europe have shown that, in particular, the exchange of information needs to be further enhanced and that European information systems must be better co-ordinated. The establishment of an operational Steering Board at Europol is another important element for a strong European security network.”

Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, responded: “Europe is facing its most serious terrorist threat for over ten years. The increasing transnational nature of terrorist groups and their activities demand ever closer collaboration between relevant law enforcement authorities across Europe. The ECTC has been established at Europol for this purpose. I’m pleased by the confidence expressed in the work of the ECTC by the police chiefs meeting in Berlin, and delighted by their clear commitment to enhance collaboration efforts even further.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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