Session 4

The EU Ports Alliance against organised crime & drug trafficking

“It takes a network to fight a network.” With these words, EU Commissioner, Yilva Johansson, and the Belgian Minister of the Interior, Annelies Verlinden, officially launched the EU Ports Alliance against organised crime and drug trafficking on 24 January 2024.

Ports are complex and multi-stakeholder ecosystems, so when the EU Belgian Presidency of the European Council, and the Commissioner in charge of Security, decided to address the issue of organised crime in European ports, they rightly recognised they needed to involve all players, public and private.

The Alliance, which brings together Member States, Port Authorities and Sectoral organisations in the private sector, starts work in Q2 2024 with a workplan focusing on several activity clusters. Among these are the exchange of best practices, the infiltration of criminal organisations and corruption, policy development and implementation, and technological solutions. Representing Private Security within the Alliance, CoESS will introduce the initiative and how they see their own contribution within it.

Catherine Piana is Director General of CoESS, the Confederation of European Security Services, and ASSA-I (Aviation Security Services Association – international) as well as Managing Director of Help2Protect, an e-learning platform on the Insider Threat. 

Catherine Piana is the spokesperson of the private security industry to the EU and international institutions and stakeholders. She covers a wide range of subjects, including Transport Security (Maritime, Air and Land), AI, Insider Threat, and the protection of Critical Infrastructure and Public Spaces. A European lobbyist by profession, Catherine has held leadership positions in several trade associations since 1997.

Catherine Piana

Catherine Piana

Director General, CoESS – Confederation of European Security Services