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Analysis of Civil Security Systems in Europe

Periodic Report Summary - ANVIL (Analysis of civil security systems in Europe)

Project context and objectives:

ANVIL is a Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) security research project that looks at how civil security systems function in different countries and regions. Civil security systems are the (non-military) processes and organisations in place to prevent, respond to and recover from crises and disasters. The main actors in these systems include the police, fire and rescue services and other volunteer organisations and private entities, as well as the general public. ANVIL focuses primarily on preparedness and response measures in relation to four types of crises: natural disasters / infectious diseases, industrial disasters / transportation accidents, critical infrastructure failure and terrorist attacks. The main goals of ANVIL are to try to reveal what works and what does not work for civil security systems across Europe, to give advice to policy makers about this, and to identify emerging research needs for future European Union (EU) research programmes.

The ANVIL design framework for data collection and analysis provides a practical handbook for studying essential features and key indicators of civil security systems, with each feature and indicator clearly and simply defined. It starts with a comprehensive mapping along four analytical dimensions:

(a) cultural and historical aspects;
(b) legal / constitutional aspects;
(c) relations between the civil security system and the citizen; and
(d) the role of the private sector in maintaining civil security.

The analysis part consists in looking at key indicators of effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy, and is based on an inductive evaluation of recent crises that have occurred in the different study countries. Finally, we examine the country or regional security system in the EU context: To what extent and how does the EU level have relevance for the civil security system in a given country?

The ANVIL investigations include desk studies and interviews with civil security system experts and experienced practitioners in crisis management and public administration. We look primarily and where possible at instances and evidence in which countries have evaluated themselves through professional assessments and / or political inquiries in the wake of these crisis incidents. This provides a basis for the evaluation and comparison in our results that largely excludes subjective opinions, beliefs and biases that might cause ethical problems in carrying out the research.

Countries to be studied include Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The targeted regional associations are mostly in northern Europe and eastern Europe and include the following:

- Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative for South-Eastern Europe (DPPI SEE),
- the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR),
- the Visegrad group,
- the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS);
- the Barents Regional Council,
- the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM),
- the Baltic Seam Maritime Cooperation and the International Sava River Basin Commission.

We have started the data collection for the regional security association studies.

Project results:

In the first 12 months of the project, we have performed the following work:

- We firstly identified and established contact with academic experts, policy makers and experienced practitioners that could give guidance and feedback on the development of a generalised methodology for assessing civil security systems in Europe. A detailed analysis framework which can function as a handbook for mapping and analysing civil security systems in countries and regions was then produced. The investigative methodology is based on desk studies and limited interviews with identified experts and practitioners (or 'key informants') in a country or region of interest.

- We have completed a mapping protocol to guide the individual country study investigations and have carried out the first phase of data collection for the country studies. The figure above shows that we have substantial coverage of Europe in the project.

The country case studies are providing an abundance of facts and analysis on aspects related to and qualities of civil security systems. Notably, interview-based case studies (Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Sweden and the United Kingdom) are yielding more comprehensive information due to the access to conducting in-depth interviews with policy stakeholders and organisations and institutions working directly with civil security matters on the ground in each country. As expected, desk-based case studies (Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland) are covering most issues as foreseen in the mapping protocol, whilst some information - especially related to the quality measures - has not been possible to obtain so far given limited access to resources in these countries.

- We have refined our list of regional associations to be studied, based on a requirement of clear relevance of each association for civil security issues in the regions that they cover, and have completed a mapping protocol to guide the regional security association investigations.

- With an eye to the emerging country study civil security system mapping results, we have created a preliminary assessment protocol to guide the comparison of civil security systems in countries and regions. The nature of the possibilities for comparison will be highly dependent on the final quality, depth and uniformity of the data from the different country and regional association studies.

- We have identified and established contact with policy stakeholders in the study countries and beyond in order to ensure EU added value for our results.

Potential impact:

As final results and impacts, we expect the following:

- To bring into the public discourse the appropriateness and usefulness of using the ANVIL mapping methodology and definitions of effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy to characterise civil security systems performance with regard primarily to crisis preparedness and response in countries and regional associations of countries in Europe.
- To make a number of clear and concrete recommendations toward policymakers about what appears to work and what appears to not work so well, based on the ANVIL inductive methodology of looking at internal 'self-evaluations' of crisis performance in countries in the wake of 'signature' crisis events in the recent past.
- To use our ANVIL work to identify research needs going forward, in Horizon 2020 and other EU funding mechanisms, that can more fully elaborate the statement that 'not one security fits all' in Europe.

Due to the collaborative fashion in which the mapping protocol was developed and the way in which consortium partner researchers have utilised this document as the basis for constructing the country case studies, the final case study results will offer an ample ground for comparing the variety of civil security structures across countries. How does the civil security system relate with the administrative structure in each country? At which level is civil security responsibility first and foremost located - at municipal, regional or national levels? How does culture affect the civil security system in place? What does the legal framework look like across the 22 country cases? How often do major reforms take place? Which are the most relevant professional bodies dealing with crisis management operations? Is there a lead agency or are tasks split across many agencies? Do countries have bilateral agreements with all of their neighbours? What about the countries' involvement in regional and international agreements and organisations that operate in the civil security field? What does the relationship between state and citizens look like? Do citizens have formal responsibilities in the civil security domain? What are the public perceptions when it comes to state obligations? Who is undertaking information and education campaigns to prepare citizens for natural and manmade disasters? What about civil society, do they play a role in the civil security system? If yes, what do they do and how many people do they mobilise? Does the state finance involvement of civil society in this sector? What about private sector - companies, firms etc.? And when it comes to the quality measures, is the civil security system in the countries overall regarded as effective, efficient and legitimate? Do inquiries tell stories of successful operations during major crises? Or do they testify to significant gaps to tackle disasters? Is there conscious thinking around value-for-money issues or is spending on civil protection a non-existing issue? Is there political consensus around the civil security system? What about the people, do they perceive that the state is capable of protecting them in times of disaster? Based on the country case mapping, these are among the questions to be studied in the second half of the project and which will yield the final results in a comparative fashion.

Finally, ANVIL seeks to complement the inductive qualitative assessment set out above and search for practices that are deemed especially valuable or problematic within specific frameworks and could be of interest to people in other regions and countries without assuming that they are necessarily superior or inferior in a universal sense. Hence the aim is to facilitate exchange, provide new inputs for debate and identify areas for further research and investigation at the European level, rather than to develop readymade solutions for performance enhancements and institutional design.

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