Yesterday, the Commission published a call for proposals aimed at strengthening EU security through the protection of public spaces, including the protection of Jewish places of worship specifically. The call has a total budget of EUR 30 million, funded under the Internal Security Fund (ISF). Applications may be submitted between 8 February and 4 April 2024.
The call will finance projects aimed at improving the overall security of public spaces with a focus on six different priorities: places of worship of all faiths, Jewish places of worship, CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) threats, firearms trafficking, explosive detection dogs and non-cooperative drones. In light of the worrying upsurge of antisemitic incidents across the EU , following the heinous terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel on 7 October 2023, the Commission reserved EUR 5 million of the total budget exclusively for projects on the protection of Jewish places of worship, as announced in the Communication issued by the European Commission titled “No place for hate: a Europe united against hatred”.
Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of life, Margaritis Schinas stated in line with the 2021 EU Strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life: “It is inacceptable that 78 years after the end of the Shoah, Jews in Europe live again in fear and feel the need to hide their identity. Security is the basic right of all Europeans and a prerequisite for flourishing Jewish life. With this call, the EU will support national authorities in ensuring the security of Jewish communities and all citizens.”
The security of everyone living in Europe is a priority for the Commission. It is a key element to foster trust and cohesion in our societies. The Commission has already taken concrete actions to strengthen the protection of public spaces and address radicalisation, also through the Radicalisation Awareness Network and the EU Internet Forum. Europol’s mandate has also been strengthened so that the Agency can even better support Member States when it comes to ensuring security. The Commission also adopted the Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online, ensuring that any terrorist content is removed within a maximum of one hour.
Projects funded under these priorities will support the ongoing work in fulfilling the objectives of several EU action plans and strategies. For more details, see also the Action Plan on the Protection of Public Spaces, the CBRN Action Plan, the EU Security Union Strategy, the EU counter-drone programme, EU strategy on combating antisemitism, as well as the recent Anti-hatred Communication.