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European Jewish Congress hosts conference to improve security, fight anti-Semitism

“Regrettably, in today’s Europe, security awareness, crisis management and resilience are everyone’s concern,” declared EJC executive vice president and CEO Raya Kalenova.

European Jewish Congress executive vice president and CEO Raya Kalenova addresses “The Circle of Security & Resilience” conference in the Belgian Senate in Brussels. Credit: European Jewish Congress/Twitter.
European Jewish Congress executive vice president and CEO Raya Kalenova addresses “The Circle of Security & Resilience” conference in the Belgian Senate in Brussels. Credit: European Jewish Congress/Twitter.

The European Jewish Congress hosted a conference in the Belgian Senate on Tuesday featuring security, judicial and political experts from 24 countries in the goal to improve security, as well as fight anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred across Europe.

The two-day meeting in Brussels, titled “The Circle of Security and Resilience,” was hosted by Belgian Senate President Jacques Brotchi.

“The objective of this conference is to improve the knowledge and cooperation among stakeholders to improve security for all the European citizens,” said EJC president Moshe Kantor. “Our vision is to share our knowledge and experience with all E.U. and European organizations, and to ensure that European Jewish organizations are in close contact with the relevant authorities to stop the spread of hate, racism and anti-Semitism. Only by working as a network can we prevent the next attack or at least ameliorate its effects.”

The experts talked about tackling numerous issues related to law enforcement, crisis management, security awareness, technology, legislative and political issues, hate crimes and acts of anti-Semitism.

They included Katharina von Schnurbein, the European Commission’s Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism; Detlef Schröder, executive director of CEPOL (the European Union’s law-enforcement training agency); Eva-Maria Engdahl, head of the protection sector in the terrorism and radicalization unit of DG Migration and Home Affairs; Gianluca Andreini, Lt. Col. of Italian State Police; Wojciech Postulski, secretary-general of European judicial training Network EJTN; and Paul Giannasi, who leads the United Kingdom cross-government Hate Crime Programme, as well as author of the 2014 Police Hate Crime Manual, which offers guidance to law-enforcement officers in the United Kingdom.

“Regrettably, in today’s Europe, security awareness, crisis management and resilience are everyone’s concern,” said EJC executive vice president and CEO Raya Kalenova. “Through our painful experience, we had no choice but to innovate and develop vital expertise in these fields, and because of our commitment to European society, we want to share this expertise for the benefit of all.

“Especially after the terrorist attack in Christchurch, and more recently, in Utrecht,” she added, “we must be more vigilant and understand that the threat of terror is a sad reality for all, so it is vital we all work together.”

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