UEFA EURO 2020 : a challenging European championship!

“The overall safety, security and service preparations for UEFA EURO 2020 are a major challenge for the organising countries, as well as for participating and transit countries; even more than for former tournaments, due to the specific feature of this championship.

This will be the first time that such an event takes place in 12 hosting cities from 11 countries across Europe, from Dublin to Baku. Such a peculiar feature raises the need for stronger cooperation and communication amongst all concerned stakeholders: between UEFA as the organiser of the tournament, the Council of Europe, and the national and local authorities, in particular the network of National Football Information Points (NFIPs).

Established in 2016 by the Standing committee of the Spectators Violence Convention, the Working Group on the preparations of UEFA EURO 2020 has met regularly. In December 2017 the group adopted three draft documents that have supported its activities: a handbook on safety, security and service for this competition; an action plan, including the list of consultative visits and peer-review exercises; and a template of memorandum of understanding on police cooperation between the participating states.

Since then, the Working Group met bi-annually to follow the preparations with all stakeholders involved.

A program of four consultative visits (Azerbaijan, Hungary, Spain and Italy) and two peer-review exercises with police commanders (London and Amsterdam) in hosting countries was carried out between 2018 and late 2019. The reports of these visits can be found here.

The tournament had to be postponed to June-July 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This global sanitary crisis added huge challenges and uncertainty to the organisation of the competition, namely because the Pandemic has affected hosting countries in different ways and they have also adopted different measures to stop the spread of the virus.

The 9th and last meeting of this Working Group shall be held early December 2021 and this will be the occasion for a debrief on good practices and lessons learned from this tournament.”