Amping up security for the European Council Summit in Reykjavík

The Office of the National Police Commissioner has issued a warning to the Chief of the Police of the Nordic countries and their offices notifying that they may be formally requesting assistance from the police agencies there. This is due to the European Council summit that will be held in Reykjavík this spring. If a foreign assistance is formally requested, this would be the first time it is done in relation to the meetings.

Hundreds of police officers from all the national police agencies will be on hand to provide security for the summit. This will be the Icelandic police’s most extensive task to date, much larger than, for example, when the foreign ministers of the EU’s member states and associated countries arrived here in 2002.

The European Council is the fourth in just over 75 years of the Council’s history. Leaders of 46 states, delegations and security personnel are expected. One of these states is Ukraine, so President Volodimir Zelensky of Ukraine may be among those visiting Iceland. However, his arrival has not yet been confirmed.

Quite a challenge

Karl Steinar Valsson, the chief officer of the National Police Commissioner, says that now a lot of preliminary work is going on. The project is both challenging and exciting.

In addition to manpower analysis, the equipment needed by the police to carry out the task is being examined.

The Metropolitan Police Traffic Services Unit will play a key role when transferring national leaders between locations during the meeting. According to the Deputy Commissioner Ásgeir Þór Ásgeirsson, the office’s motorcycle fleet has been expanded, partly because of the summit. The police now has 22 bikes and they will be used to close intersections and clear traffic for convoys.

The meeting place will be the Harpa music and conference hall in downtown Reykjavík and all the meeting guests will be staying in hotels close by. To avoid disturbing the life of the average citizen in the capital area, Ásgeirsson says he hopes most of the guests will land at Reykjavík Airport. From there, it’s a short drive to both hotels and Harpa.

The full coverage can be read in Icelandic in Morgunblaðið today.


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