Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez chaired the National Security Council meeting held on the Department of National Security premises known as the Moncloa Bunker. The council discussed various issues of particular security interest, including the strategies against terrorism and organized crime. It also approved a National Biocustody Plan.
The Government of Spain approved the National Strategy against Organised Crime and Major Crime 2019-2023, which stems from a review and update of the previous strategy. It was specifically decided to include the threat of major crime, a type of crime that although impossible to categorise as organised crime does indeed pose a threat not only to individual security but to the security of districts and cities.
As regards the challenge posed by illegal migratory flows, the council was informed about the preparation of a global contingency plan against possible extraordinary arrivals.
A National Biocustody Plan was also approved. This plan was drawn up by the specialized committee on the non-proliferation of weapons of massive destruction and seeks to avoid any pathogen used in medical research from falling into criminal hands and being transformed into a bacteriological weapon. The new National Counter-terrorism Strategy was also defined, which updates the 2012 Integrated Strategy against International Terrorism and Radicalization that was in place until 2017.
The meeting discussed the recent creation of the Sector Conference for National Security Affairs, a body provided for under the Spanish National Security Act that had not yet been activated and that is chaired by the Vice-Prime Minister of the Government. All the regional governments and autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla are represented at this conference and it is an instrument that enables regional participation in national security affairs involving issues that have been transferred to regional governments, while remembering overall responsibility for national security lies with the Prime Minister.
The National Security Council is the body that advises the Prime Minister on security issues. The King of Spain usually chairs the meeting once a year, as he did at its previous meeting on July 16 at Zarzuela Palace. The majority of government ministers and five State secretaries sit on the council. The high level of activity by the ministerial departments concerned and the National Security Department reflects the importance given to security by the Government of Spain as a State policy affecting everyone and calling for coordinated effort.