The ANVIL EU project: Analysis of Civil Security Systems in Europe
The ANVIL FP7 project mapped the cultural, institutional, legal and operational diversity of 22 national civil security systems in
Europe, and explored the scope for European cooperation in the area of crisis and emergency management. ANVIL employed a
broad perspective which helped to overcome simplistic assumptions about the "best way" to handle crises in Europe, be they
purely national or supranational. Our analysis revealed that administrative responsibilities, legal frameworks and operational
practices differ markedly, as the national systems are rooted in national contexts and historical experiences. The project did not
discover drastic differences in effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy. So while there may be room for improvement in specific
areas, there does not seem to be a single best or "one-size-fits all" model for civil security in Europe at present.
We found that arrangements for cross-border assistance in and outside the EU are generally well developed. The EU may not a
highly visible actor in transboundary civil security, but EU coordination basically enjoys wide support among citizens (though
some bigger member states remain hesitant to support further integration leaps).
What does this mean for European cooperation in the face of transboundary crises and disasters? First of all, we argue that
societal and civil security, which is embedded in deep local knowledge and public support, cannot be imposed from the top. Our
findings suggest a specific role for the European Union as a facilitator and promoter of transboundary cooperation. While
standardisation of national structures and processes does not appear helpful or necessary, the EU could play a role in the
development of a shared framework used to identify lessons learned and "best practices" in a bottom-up manner.
If you would like further information about ANVIL, including PDF files of public reports and deliverables from the project,
please contact the ANVIL coordinator, Research Management, at: email@example.com or +47 73919307.
Click here to see the ANVIL project summary video.
The ANVIL consortium: