Do high ranking members of parliament and other state institutions travel in armoured vehicles and have armed personal security in the EU and UK? If so, which bodies protect them?

How does this differ to the US?

closed as too broad by JJJ, user11249, Display name, Martin Schröder, Glorfindel Sep 17 '18 at 16:16

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  • 4
    There are large differences between EU countries, the question seems a little too broad to me. – Relaxed Sep 14 '18 at 19:42
  • There are also officials of the EU itself rather than national government representatives. Interpreted that way, it doesn't seem too broad. – Jontia Sep 17 '18 at 14:02

Depends on the country and the official.

In Germany, the federal president, federal chancellor, federal cabinet secretaries, state prime ministers, and some state cabinet secretaries routinely get bodyguards. Those at the federal level come from the federal police, those at the state level come from the state police.

Other officials including members of the legislature may get bodyguards on a case-by-case basis. If the police, in consultation with official, decide that protection is appropriate, then protection will be provided. This may be done for opposition politicians, and it was done for religious leaders at times.

The residences of these people are also protected, ranging from a permanent police presence to merely increased patrols.

No German official is protected on the level of the US president, which might have something to do with the fact that there is no nuclear football to worry about -- Germany has delivery systems but no warheads, and the peacetime national command authority is the Secretary of Defense anyway.

Come to think of it, there are military bodyguards for the DefSec at home and for other officials traveling abroad in crisis areas.

Armored cars are available and will be used if the police finds a high threat level, which usually goes hand in hand with the decision to provide bodyguards to start with. The Berlin military hospital has ambulances which may appear in official motorcades.

  • The French president has the power to order a nuclear strike and something like a nuclear football, yet he is not travelling with anything resembling the level of security around the US president. On the other hand, I have seen a 50+ police cars motorcade in Germany, during a visit to Berlin by Hamid Karzai. – Relaxed Sep 14 '18 at 19:41

Europe is a very diverse place with countries of various sizes and the answer depends very much on the country.

The UK certainly has a different level of protection as, say, Austria. In fact, I've personally met the president of Austria at a ball, and there was nobody who seemed to be a bodyguard in sight, and no special security checks at the entrance, either.

So to get a qualified answer, you need to ask more specifically. The best general answer I can give is that no head of state anywhere in Europe has security on the level of the US president. But then, neither has any other politician in the USA. The POTUS is quite unique in that regard.

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