Euro 2016 to take place under tight security - Minister

Euro 2016/security measures – Communiqué issued following the Council of Ministers’ meeting

Paris, 25 May 2016

The Interior Minister made a statement on security for Euro 2016.

France will be hosting the European Football Championship, bringing together 24 national teams for 51 matches organized between 10 June and 10 July 2016 in the stadiums of the 10 host cities (Paris, Saint-Denis, Lille, Lens, Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille and Nice).

The event will put an intense media spotlight on France that will transcend the sporting aspect alone. Some 8.5 million visitors and several thousand journalists are expected. The safety of the teams, foreign delegations and many members of the public therefore presents a major challenge. The terrorist threat to which France is exposed requires constant stringency, shared between the government, the competition organizers and the local authorities concerned, each in its area of responsibility.

On 2 September 2015 the Interior Minister and the French Football Federation (FFF) signed a protocol setting out the distribution of roles between the organizers and the government. The internal security of the sporting venues is the organizers’ responsibility, and the government is responsible for security outside those venues. This distribution of responsibilities also applies to the fan zones established by each of the host cities.

With due regard for these principles, the government will therefore deploy the resources necessary for Euro 2016 to go ahead under tight security conditions. From the beginning of the preparatory work, the terrorist risk was identified as a threat to be taken into account. The consequence of the 2015 attacks was therefore not an overhaul of the security principles implemented but their adaptation to changing modus operandi observed both in France and in other countries affected by attacks.

The number of stewards and private security guards in the stadiums has been reviewed upwards by the organizers. Several interministerial instructions have strengthened security requirements for the fan zones, for example by tightening entry controls by means of the systematic frisking of spectators and the use of CTTV in all the fan zones. Pre-filtering measures have also been prescribed, to facilitate movement at entrances and prevent people gathering on public highways. These requirements have been extended to other large-screen viewing areas outside the fan zones, which will have to be organized in secure, closed spaces (stadiums, sports halls, exhibition centres, performance venues), where there will be controlled access under the same conditions.

The government has decided, exceptionally, to provide a share of the finance accounting for one-third of the security costs incurred by host cities in organizing fan zones, i.e. an overall subsidy of €8 million, €2 million of it devoted to CCTV.

The government has also improved conditions for the recruitment of private security guards, enabling professional qualification certificates to be created. The Pôle Emploi [government employment agency] network has been playing an especially active role. The exceptional contributions of the Pôle Emploi and companies in the sector have enabled us to propose a plan for nearly 3,000 entirely free training courses for job-seekers in the private security field.

Even though no direct threat has been detected to date, Euro 2016 is clearly a potential target for terrorist groups because of the media exposure, the concentration of crowds and the presence on French soil of people of many nationalities. A unit specifically dedicated to analysing the risks, which will bring together all the services contributing to domestic and foreign intelligence, will therefore be activated [and will operate] 24/7. It will provide summaries and analyses on terrorism prevention but also on public order (hooliganism), so that préfets [high-ranking civil servants representing the state at departmental or regional level] and the central control room can constantly adapt operational measures on the ground. Likewise, international cooperation will enable each participating country to send national police teams to provide support to fans and share operational intelligence with the French police.

The host cities will be able to count on local forces being backed up by the 3,400 riot police and gendarmes specifically assigned to making the stadiums and fan zones safe. A total of no fewer than 72,000 police and gendarmes will be mobilized, to which should be added 5,200 civil security personnel, including bomb disposal and departmental fire and rescue services, which are heavily involved in the event’s medical security alongside civil-security-approved voluntary first aid organizations. Hospital services (…) will also be on hand. Finally, the Defence Ministry will be helping make Euro 2016 a success with Operation Sentinelle’s 10,000 soldiers. The specific assessment of the terrorism risk has resulted in the planned pre-positioning, in every stadium and in the area surrounding every fan zone, of groups comprising the RAID, GIGN and, in Paris, BRI (1) – again, in support of local police.

Furthermore, lessons are being learned from the incidents which occurred in the Stade de France on 21 May, at a time when the stadium’s “UEFA” set-up was uncompleted. Smooth-flowing entrance points, flow management and frisking and systematic searches of each person entering are the three priority areas on which the [Paris] Police Headquarters and Euro 2016 SAS services are currently working in order to adapt the procedures and put right any failings that have emerged./.

(1) The RAID, GIGN and BRI are elite police and gendarmerie squads responsible for tackling organized crime and terrorism.

Euro 2016/security measures – Replies by M. Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister of the Interior, to questions in the National Assembly

Paris, 24 May 2016

Last Saturday, at the match which took place at the Stade de France, a number of problems emerged. The first point I’d like to emphasize is that the match wasn’t organized in the way that will prevail during Euro 2016. The organizers weren’t the same and the security measures put in place weren’t the same as the ones we’ll be deploying.

However, the problems observed must be taken into account in the organization of Euro 2016.

Why did those problems occur? Because the number of entrances and pre-filtering areas planned for the match was insufficient, and this posed a problem with ease of movement at the entrances and consequently with the efficiency of checks.

Having observed that the bodies responsible for security in the stadium, which include the French Football Federation, had not correctly signposted the entrances and had not fulfilled their obligations, I brought all the organizers together for three meetings yesterday. The whole security set-up was re-examined in order to achieve three goals: ease of movement at the entrances, efficient security searches and frisks, and ease of movement at the exits. The set-up will thus be totally revised on the basis of yesterday’s feedback and recommendations.

I also asked the area préfets [high-ranking civil servants representing the state at departmental or regional level], whom I brought together yesterday, to kindly supervise the whole operation in each city. Finally, I had a meeting with Alain Juppé yesterday evening, and we agreed that once the measures had been taken, the fan zones would be kept.


I’ll add to the reply I gave your colleague by providing you with details of Euro 2016’s security set-up. The event is being organized, including in terms of security, in conjunction with two bodies: UEFA and the Association des villes pour l’Euro 2016 [host cities association], which will organize the fan zones. Of course, the Interior Ministry itself is highly mobilized. Indeed, no fewer than 43,000 police, gendarmes and Interior Ministry officials will be mobilized for this event.

So that security is fully guaranteed, every aspect of this event must be controlled. From the places where teams are staying to the training grounds, stadiums and fan zones, every step must be taken to ensure that the event is safe.

The division of responsibility between the government and the organizers is straightforward. The government will ensure security outside the fan zones and stadiums; the local authorities and private security guards will ensure security inside the fan zones; UEFA, which is itself mobilizing private security guards, will ensure security inside the stadiums.

Even though last Saturday’s event was not a full-scale test, because the way it was organized is very different from how Euro 2016 will be, what happened has led us to review the whole set-up by paying particular attention to certain points: risk anticipation by means of border control and preventing hooligans from causing trouble, joint work by the intelligence services, mobilizing all the security forces, recruiting 20% more security guards than necessary and everyone complying with all clauses [of the security contracts]. This is why I called on those involved in football to shoulder their responsibilities./.

Published on 07/02/2017

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