The “Community of Users on Secure, Safe and Resilient Societies” (CoU) is an efficient platform of exchanges among different actors of different branches of security and crisis management. The CoU initiative came as a response to the complexity of the security and crisis management policy framework and the wide variety of research capacity-building and training initiatives that led to a lack of awareness about policies and/or research project outputs by users, namely policy-makers, scientists, industry/SMEs and practitioners (e.g. civil protection units, medical emergency services and police departments).
WHO ARE THE USERS?
Fields concerned by security, safety and resilience for societies are themselves scattered into many different disciplines and sectors.
WHY AND HOW PARTICIPATING?
Registered members [register here] have obviously different interests in being part of the network, in particular keeping up to date with policy and research developments, information sharing among different actors and networking. Most of the information sharing / update is carried out on line without the necessity to attend meetings, although meetings may also be useful for networking purposes and synergy building.
About attending meetings in person, the following considerations may apply:
You are a Policy-maker
Interactions may be of relevance to you in plenary sessions to share general information about your respective policy areas and get feedback from other actors. Participation in thematic workshops will allow to get in-depth insights into the areas concerned.
As an example, the CoU network involves UN representatives dealing with fight against crime and terrorism (UNICRI), disaster risk reduction (UN-ISDR), and transboundary industrial accidents (UN/ECE), EU Policy DGs such as DGs HOME, ECHO, SANTE, GROW, ENV, CLIMA, ENER, MOVE, TAXUD, as well as the JRC.
In addition, EU and intergovernmental agencies such as FRONTEX, EUROPOL, EEAS, EDA, are also involved. Moreover, representations at Member State’s level are through Ministries of Defence, Interior, Foreign Affairs, Civil Protection, Environment, Research and Industry, as well as Agencies and Regional Authorities.
Your are a Scientist
Representatives of research projects will find possible interest in getting information on policies in the respective areas to better understand needs related to technical implementation of various policies. Scientific findings may be discussed among different actors / users in the CoU framework, and project synergies are strongly encouraged, including the possibility to hold demonstrations.
You are an Industry (including SMEs) representative
Similarly to scientists, you will have possible interest in getting information on policies in the respective areas to better understand needs related to technical implementation of various policies, as well as meeting research project representatives and share with different actors views about innovation needs and perspectives.
You are a Practitioner
First responders, i.e. fire brigades, emergency services, police forces, civil protection units, military units, laboratories, etc. will find an interest to attend for getting updated information about EU policy and research developments and express their views about the tools, technologies, etc. development and their possible involvement in research and demonstrations.
Your are NGOs or Consultant
The CoU provides a large range of policy and research information that are of potential usefulness to NGOs, Civil Society Organisations, consultancy companies, etc.
Interest to participate in person is less obvious for the general public owing to the highly technical level of discussions, but some events might be tailor-made to citizens, which is envisaged in the future.