Draft of the European Regulation

The deployment and use of force have so far been a matter of State and must remain so, without prejudice to the possibility of «calling the same things by the same name» within Schengen area. Law enforcement services like police, military, coastguards, border guards, private security services, customs, forestry, port police, health services and countless other services, work in direct connection with the protection of human and fundamental rights. The scenario of protection of legal assets is homogeneous, threats and risks are homogeneous too.

The integration of security in the European Union give rise to officers from two states providing joint services in the territory of a third state with executive capacity and common attributions in the deployment and use of force. This experience allows us to demonstrate that security is so universal as the rights protected and the threats tackled, so it makes no sense to hold different regulatory frameworks for the deployment and use of force within the common area of freedom, security, and justice.

This document is a proposal that seeks to regulate the deployment and use of force from the theoretical and analytical dimension, therefore, a document of positive law. In contrast to the current frameworks of reference, which are law of exception, prohibiting the use of force except in situations based on general principles of law, which can be interpreted differently in each case, at the risk of condemning an innocent and leaving a guilty without punishment. The current situation of legal uncertainty produces insecurity for all those law enforcement officers involved in the deployment and use of force, both for the agents and for the citizens to whom the services are addressed.

The security scenario is more cross-cutting than ever and cannot be addressed by a fragmented security model. A common frame of reference does not mean «doing the same things in the same way in all states», but rather «interpret in the same events on a same manner» by calling them by the same terms and doing so, there will be a base to increase the shared quality standards.

A common model will allow comparative analyses of scenarios and responses, and to do so in a systemic way, since both military and civilian, health and police, private security, and public security, all coming together in the same situations, facing the same actors under the same framework of human and fundamental rights. The comparative analysis will in turn, allow lessons to be learned and work methodologies to be transferred, so that security, public order, and public health measures will be perceived as legal instruments and not as threats.

As a novelty concerning what we understand by “deployment and use of force”, the following dimensions have been observed in this work: (1) the intelligence dimension as a support to operations, which will allow the development of a distributed intelligence community; (2) orientation to the rule of law, which involves the entire community close to security, especially the juridical community, which will allow those who have to assess the legality of actions to deepen into the matter; (3) the health perspective as a condition for the use of force, compatible with health services; (4) the soft forms of force which are developed through communication and mental health awareness to deter the scalation; and (5) the media dimension, which aims to be oriented towards public understanding, to reverse the narrative of «state violence» and «police brutality», which seek to delegitimise the security forces and the armed forces in the face of public opinion in general, and violent threats in particular.