Spain holds first meeting in European takeover

The Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, has chaired in Madrid the first preparatory meeting for the Special Security Plan for the Presidency of the European Union, which Spain will assume during the second half of 2023 and which contemplates the organisation of events and activities in 25 Spanish cities.

The plan, approved by means of an instruction from the Secretary of State for Security, establishes the general guidelines that will coordinate the actions of the National Police and the Guardia Civil to guarantee the security and protection of the authorities and of the meetings and activities that take place during the semester of the Spanish presidency. The device also determines the collaboration of the State Security Forces and Corps with the regional and local police forces, the Armed Forces and the participating institutions.

In this first meeting, held at the headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior, more than twenty representatives have participated between the Royal Family, the Presidency of the Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation and the Ministry of Defence, in addition to the Ministry of the Interior, including commanders of National Police and Guardia Civil operations.

The Special Plan is the framework to which the specific operational plans that are subsequently prepared for each meeting and event planned during the rotating presidency of the European Union, which Spain assumes for the fifth time in its history, the last during the first half of 2010.

Intelligence, anti-terrorism and cybersecurity plans

The security device contemplates the implementation of three specific plans for Intelligence, Prevention, Protection and Anti-terrorist Response, and Cybersecurity, and all of them will be deployed in four phases (prior, preventive, alert and critical).

The Permanent Information and Intelligence Plan, coordinated by the Intelligence Centre against Terrorism and Organised Crime (CITCO), will integrate the intelligence assessments provided by the intelligence and anti-terrorist services of the National Police and Guardia Civil, the Office for the Coordination of Cybersecurity (OCC) and the National Centre for the Protection of Critical Infrastructures (CNPIC), as well as the information provided by the National Intelligence Centre (CNI) and by the Armed Forces.

The level of activation of the Anti-terrorist Prevention, Protection and Response Plan will also be periodically reviewed and evaluated, in accordance with the analyses and results from the Threat Assessment Table.

For its part, the Cybersecurity Coordination Office (OCC), in coordination with the reference Emergency Response Centres (CERT) and with the cybersecurity services of the State Security Forces and Corps, will deploy a special cybersecurity device for the Spanish presidency of the EU and for each of the planned events.

In its area of ​​responsibility, the National Centre for the Protection of Critical Infrastructures (CNPIC) will prepare a specific security directive and will maintain communications and meetings with operators of critical and essential services to reinforce security, prevention and warning in critical infrastructures during the semester of the European presidency.