PRIMO: Founded by local chief executives in Europe

PRIMO and UDITE | 2005

UDITE, la Union des Dirigeants Territoriaux De l’Europe (Union of Local Authority Chief Executives of Europe) has decided to focus on risk management in the Strategic Plan for the years 2004-2006. The plan highlights the following points concerning risk management:

Among the most challenging issues for the public sector today is the management of risk. Whether risks arise from the physical environment, the economic environment, or even from changes in voter preferences, public institutions have a broad responsibility to assess and address the risks that impact the community they serve and their organisation.

Each local authority leader makes a number of decisions every day as a leader. To make these decisions it is important to incorporate risk assessment. For example, which risks are possible when making investments in a new IT-system? Which elements of risk are to be analysed when decisions about building a new school are made? Which elements of risk are to be assessed in connection with preventing vandalism and break-ins on municipal buildings?”

Modern risk management comprises much more than just preventing losses and reducing costs. Increasingly, risk management is defined as the coordinated management of all risks. In this regard, modern risk management is a general management function that permeates through an organisation, is linked to the organisation’s overall strategic plan and serves to enable the operational achievement of organisational goals and objectives.

The Strategic Plan emphasizes in accordance with a widespread understanding that risk management is a most valuable management concept and management tool in today’s complex and globalized world with its increasing demands on governance and compliance. One of the major challenges for the public sector worldwide today and in the future is a continually building and rebuilding of public trust.

Consequently, UDITE has agreed to focus on risk management as a core competence for public leaders, and has set up a new visionary and comprehensive risk management organisation for public risk management: Public Risk Management Organisation (PRIMO).

PRIMO as concept was formally established at a UDITE executive meeting on April 1st 2005 in Strasbourg. PRIMO Europe as an umbrella organisation for the existing organisations in Denmark, Flanders, France, Malta, Netherlands and Sweden was launched in April 2007 in Dublin and formalised in December 2007 in Brussels.

Business Plan
The Business Plan for PRIMO Europe was – based on the work within UDITE, Marsh, EIRM and the national PRIMO chapters by Philippe Auzimour, Jan Breyne, Gérard Combe, John O’Dea, Ronny Frederickx, Jack Kruf, Finn Kjaer Jenssen, Soteris Messios, Adrian Mifsud, Peter Sylow, Alan Vendelbo, Tom Wustenberghs – offered to its first General Assembly on the 14th of April 2007 in Dublin.

The plan describes the vision, aims and goals for PRIMO in its business development and actions in the years to come and thereby is a strategic guideline for the plans and ambitions of the national PRIMO chapters and their joint PRIMO Europe network and organisation.


PRIMO’s vision is to become the primary and most influential transnational network for the development and dissemination of well-founded and useful knowledge on public risk management for the benefit of society, the citizens and the public organisations.

Overall aim

In relation to the continually changing challenges and the regional, national and local variation in these challenges, PRIMO’s overall aim is to promote a broad, non-panic and non-dogmatic perspective on risk and risk management which stresses usability in relation to a wide range of public risk issues as well as to risks in public organisations.

PRIMO’s aim is to promote a holistic, opportunistic and dialogue oriented form of risk management, which seeks to harvest the value adding, the ethical, the resilient, and the innovative potential in risk management. The aim is to make risk management a natural part of public governance.


In view of these overall aims the goals of PRIMO will be realised through three different aspects:


  • PRIMO will build up a European and potentially global network of PRIMO chapters and members.
  • PRIMO will integrate local government executives, public leaders and specialist from all parts of the public sector.
  • PRIMO will attract specialists from private companies, risk organisations and universities working with the public sector.


  • PRIMO will enhance to raise the theoretical knowledge as well as the quality of practical risk management tools within the public sector.
  • PRIMO will collect, develop and disseminate cutting-edge knowledge and solid and useful knowledge of public risk management.
  • PRIMO will disseminate knowledge primarily through websites (web library), monthly newsletters, (online) courses, conferences, and other educational initiatives to improve risk decisions and the handling of public risk issues. 


  • PRIMO will create awareness of the benefits of public risk management on an international basis.
  • PRIMO will initiate development projects concerning risk issues and risk management on a regional and international basis.
  • PRIMO will build up intellectual and social capital in order to position itself as a referential body on international-wide risk issues in relation to e.g. the EU, and other international organisations.


  • PRIMO will be developed with the brand identity of independent, public domain, innovative, strategic, building trust.
  • Associated with the international network of European Chief Executives in the public sector and her motherorganisation UDITE

This publication is part of the web-book Public Risk Canon