Boosting urban resilience to violent extremism

22 February 2018 - 09:00 - 10:00
Shpend Ahmeti, Paul Argyle, Dharmendra Kanani, Camino Mortera-Martinez , Emmanuelle Pierrard

This event will explore how cities can boost their resilience to urban terrorism in order minimize the risks of lethal attacks and ensure a quicker bounce-back when attacks occur. 

This event is the first of a series of debates on resilience, which aims to develop, foster and promote building resilience into systems, policies and approaches that enables states and societies to withstand, adapt, recover and respond to shocks and crises. It is part of Friends of Europe’s Peace, Security and Defence Programme, supported by the United States European Command (EUCOM). Our work is firmly anchored in our expertise in a range of fields, including energy and climate change, geopolitics, international development, migration and health. We seek a holistic approach to European, transatlantic and global security policies. Security considerations are, in turn, mainstreamed into these areas of expertise, enriching the debate by encouraging experts to think outside their comfort zones.

Photo Gallery

Terror and the City

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The global security landscape is in flux. From increased tensions between NATO and Russia and ongoing difficult Brexit negotiations to China’s more assertive global stand under the consolidated leadership of President Xi Jinping, new challenges are continuously putting into question global security frameworks and approaches.

08:30 - 09:00

Welcome coffee and registration of participants

09:00 - 10:00

In recent years many of the world’s major cities have had first-hand experience dealing with the prevention or aftermath of deadly terrorist attacks. With improved capabilities and knowledge, most local authorities are becoming better at tackling terrorist threats and dealing with the consequences of such attacks. But with urban terrorism - especially high-profile but low-tech attacks - expected to continue, national and local governments must do more to minimise the risks of lethal attacks and ensure a quicker bounce-back when they (inevitably) occur. This requires local policies and actions to boost the resilience of individuals, neighbourhoods, communities, businesses and institutions so that they can survive, adapt, and grow in the face of terrorism. Also, as urban terrorism tears down rigid divisions between the developed and developing countries, the focus must be on ensuring a concerted and coordinated response to urban terror among cities worldwide. This can be done through the sharing of knowledge, experience, and the adoption of best practices. Working together on how urban systems plan for, respond and adapt to crises and shocks can help foster cross-sectoral resilience across the world.

  • How can urban planning be improved to help mitigate new forms of terrorist attacks? 
  • Can information-sharing, cooperation and collaboration be encouraged at the local, regional and national levels to secure a more preventive, agile and flexible response to violent terrorism? 
  • What role is there for the private sector to foster resilience in cities? 
  • Should terror awareness and resilience be part of civic education?

Speakers include
Shpend Ahmeti, Mayor of Pristina, Kosovo*
Paul Argyle, Strategic Advisor for Fire & Resilience to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester and Member of the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities programme 
Camino Mortera-Martinez, Research Fellow at the Centre for European Reform  
Emmanuelle Pierrard, Head for Energy, Transport and Public Sector at Nokia Benelux

Moderated by
Dharmendra Kanani, Director of Strategy at Friends of Europe 

*This designation is without prejudice to position on status, and is in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99 and the International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.


End of debate

Shpend Ahmeti
Mayor of Pristina
A Harvard-trained economist and former public policy professor, Shpend Ahmeti has moved from the classroom into one of the most challenging mayor’s offices in Europe. Alongside tackling organized crime, illegal building construction, high youth unemployment, and corruption, Ahmeti also faces the challenge of returning foreign fighters. According to data by the independent analytical centre Global Research, at the end of July 2016, 314 Kosovars joined ISIS, thus presenting a crucial challenge to the city of Pristina.
Paul Argyle
Strategic Advisor for Fire & Resilience to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester and Member of the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities programme
With 31 years of experience working for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Paul Arygle has a depth of expertise relating to the emergency services and their partners. In his current capacity, Arygle advises political leaders with a focus on multi-agency collaboration towards creating stronger and more resilient communities in Greater Manchester and chairs the Greater Manchester Resilience Forum. He also provides strategic support to the Mayor’s Independent Review into the Manchester Arena Attack and the Recovery Coordinating Group that was set up after the attack. 
Dharmendra Kanani
Director of Insights at Friends of Europe
Dharmendra Kanani has been in senior leadership roles in the Public and Voluntary sectors across the UK and Europe over a period of 26 years. In 2005, he was appointed as Director of Scotland of the Big Lottery Fund. Subsequently, from 2010 to 2014, Kanani was the England Director at the Big Lottery Fund, the largest independent funder in the UK. Since 2016, he has supported Friends of Europe’s strategic development across all its policy areas with a strong focus on Climate and Energy; Peace, Security and Defence as well as Digitalisation. Prior to this role, Kanani was the European Foundation Centre’s (EFC) first Fellow in July 2014. 
Camino Mortera-Martinez
Research Fellow at the Centre for European Reform
Focussing particularly on internal security, criminal law, and police and judicial co-operation, Camino Mortera-Martinez is a specialist in counter-terrorism policies in the EU. Before joining the Centre for European Reform (CER), she was part of the justice and home affairs team of a Brussels-based consultancy, where she worked on various projects with the European Commission dealing with counter-terrorism and international private law. With her expertise she appears regularly in media outlets to discuss responses to terrorism.
Emmanuelle Pierrard
Head for Energy, Transport and Public Sector at Nokia Benelux
Emmanuelle Pierrard has over 20 years of experience at Nokia, where she has combined her scientific and business background to hold various sales and consulting positions. She works on leading Nokia’s smart cities and smart government initiatives by managing public safety and emergency services. Nokia has been developing intelligent solutions and critical communications infrastructure to support cities’ urban planning and public safety.  This includes building resilient networks for law enforcement, fire brigades and rescue teams to ensure communications continuity in the case of a terrorist attack or other emergency.

Supported by





Mikaela d’Angelo, Programme Manager
Tel.: +32 2 893 98 20
Email: Mikaela.Dangelo@friendsofeurope.org

This event is exclusively for Friends of Europe’s members, EU institution representatives and media. You may find further information on the membership below or get in touch with Natasha Ibbotson, Senior Programme & Partnership Development Manager, on +32 2 893 98 24 or natasha.ibbotson@friendsofeurope.org.
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