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News article10 October 2022Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs

The 10th EU-US Explosives’ Experts Seminar

EU-US Explosives Experts Seminar-1

Between 27 and 29 September, experts on explosives from the EU and the United States met to exchange best practice and share information. With around 110 participants, including high level representatives from US FBI and the White House National Security Council, the seminar was a success strengthening relationships and cooperation between the EU and the US in the area of explosives security.

Protecting people and public spaces from attacks using explosives

The 10th meeting of the EU-US Explosives Experts' Seminar was co-organised by the European Commission (DG HOME and JRC), Europol (ECTC) and the United States Joint Programme Office for Countering IEDs - Improved Explosive Devices.

Deputy Director General of DG HOME Olivier Onidi and FBI Deputy Assistant Director Robert Fuller launched the event with opening speeches. The next three days offered presentations and break-out session benefiting both EU and US policymakers and technical experts. To highlight a few:  

  • Session on protection of public spaces. Participants presented programmes and strategies how they safeguard public spaces, including best practices on technology for detecting and preventing security threats.    
  • Debrief by the US FBI on the Nashville bombing and the results of the used bomb device.
  • Session on Existing and Emerging threats from Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) - drones, Improved Explosive Devices (IED), as well as precursor chemicals, pyrotechnics and consumer available explosives.

The session on Explosive Precursor Chemical Security focused on latest developments on home-made explosives. Experts from the EU and the US compared relevant legislation to identify improvements how to continue to deny terrorist the means to create explosives.

The 10th EU-US Explosives Experts Seminar
Laurent Michel, Director for Internal Security at DG HOME, presenting changes in the threat landscape due to the war in Ukraine

Outcomes and next steps

On the last day, participants discussed proposals how to enhance collaboration and information sharing. Despite COVID impacting some of the work targets set during the 9th EU-US meeting in September 2019, the overview of work done in the various EU-US working groups still showed solid progress.

The 10th EU-US Explosives Experts Seminar
Martin Schieffer, Head of the Counter-Terrorism Unit at DG HOME, presented a first draft of the Joint Statement for the Seminar

Work on the Joint Statement of the Seminar summarising the main outcomes and the future work strands already started and the document will be finalised in October. The next EU-US Explosive Experts Seminar will take place in 12-18 months’ time. 

Details

Publication date
10 October 2022
Author
Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs