Council adopts conclusions on sports-related violence ahead of the European football championship
The Council recently (07 June 2021) adopted conclusions on sports-related violence. In these conclusions the Council emphasises the unique challenge to security posed by the UEFA EURO championship, since the competition will take place in 11 European cities simultaneously.
The Council emphasises that the organisers of major events taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic should continue to adopt measures and procedures that prevent the spread of the virus among all actors involved.
The Council also stresses the relevance of international police cooperation and information exchange to ensure a safe and secure competition. Acknowledging that monitoring the movement of risk supporters may be vital to prevent public disorder and associated criminal activity, it encourages effective international cooperation through the deployment of specialised law enforcement spotters as well as other liaison officers, even if a sports event takes place without general public attending.
The Council recognises that, in view of several recent incidents of sports-related violence, it is crucial to address this issue beyond the sport venues. The scope of preventive measures should be enlarged to cover locations such as public transport, hotels, training centers, nightlife areas and other public spaces.
The Council stresses the importance of protecting public spaces and private spaces open to the public, namely through the implementation of security-by-design concepts and the use of surveillance and detection systems that incorporate artificial intelligence, while respecting fundamental rights. It also calls on member states to continue to monitor online content, with a view to preventing and mitigating the dissemination of messages that incite violence, extremism, radicalisation and xenophobia.
The Council stresses the need for member states to increase the risk assessment of risk supporters, especially those with extremist ideologies, so as to identify, prevent and limit possible hostile and criminal activity during international sport events.
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