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CBRN is an acronym for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials that could harm the society through their accidental or deliberate release, dissemination or impacts.

The term CBRN is a replacement for the cold war term NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical), which had replaced the previous term ABC (atomic, biological and chemical) that was used in the fifties. "N" covers the impact by an explosion of nuclear bombs and the misuse of fissile material, "R" stands for dispersion of radioactive material e.g. by a dirty bomb.

Source: DG Home Affairs

CBRN Action Plan

The EU CBRN Action Plan was adopted in December 2009 by the EU Council and aims to strengthen CBRN security throughout the EU. Based on an all-hazard approach, the Action Plan's overall goal is to reduce the threat of and damage from CBRN incidents of accidental, natural and intentional origin, including terrorist acts. The Action Plan contributes to the implementation of the EU Counter Terrorism Strategy and is in line with the Internal Security Strategy.

Source: Progress Report on the Implementation of the EU CBRN Action Plan, May 2012

Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

Reaffirms, with due regard for the powers and tasks of the Union and for the principle of subsidiarity, the rights as they result, in particular, from the constitutional traditions and international obligations common to EU States, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Social Charters adopted by the Union and by the Council of Europe and the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union and of the European Court of Human Rights.

Source: Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

Chemical precursor

Precursor chemicals are required to make illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and methamphetamines. Their licit international movement is controlled by international conventions and at EU level via EU regulations.

Source: DG Justice


Every human being below the age of eighteen years, unless majority is attained earlier under the law applicable to the child.

Source: United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Circular migration

A form of migration that is managed in a way allowing some degree of legal mobility back and forth between two countries.

Source: Communication COM(2007) 248 final

Circular movement

The fluid movement of people between countries, including temporary or long-term movement that may be beneficial to all involved, if occurring voluntarily and linked to the labour needs of countries of origin and destination.

Source: International Organization for Migration


The particular legal bond between an individual and his or her State, acquired by birth or naturalisation, whether by declaration, choice, marriage or other means according to national legislation.

Source: Council Regulation (EC) No 862/2007

Civil protection

Protection of people, their environment, property and cultural heritage in the event of major natural or manmade disasters occurring both inside and outside the EU.

The fundamental approach to an effective civil protection operation relies on three key modes of action: disaster prevention, preparedness of those responsible for civil protection and response in the event of disaster.

Source: DG Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection

Civil security

Law enforcement, crime fighting and counter terrorism (e.g. activities of police and forensics, customs and border control, etc.) and "first responder" tasks (e.g. fire-fighting, ambulance/health-emergency, etc.), as well as the protection of critical infrastructure and utilities.

Source: DG Enterprise and Industry

Common Basic Principles

Within the context of EU integration policy, a set of (11) simple, non-binding but thoughtful guidelines of basic principles intended to assist EU States in formulating their integration policies. They also serve to:

  • give EU States a means by which they can judge and assess their own efforts,
  • enable EU States to set priorities and further develop their own measurable goals,
  • serve as a basis for EU States to explore how EU, national, regional, and local authorities can interact in the development and implementation of integration policies,
  • determine how these policies can best engage other actors involved in integration (for example, social partners, NGOs, women's and migrants' organisations, businesses and other private institutions),
  • be complementary and in full synergy with existing legislative frameworks, including the international instruments on Human Rights, Union instruments containing integration provisions, EU objectives on gender equality and non-discrimination and other EU policies,
  • assist in structuring the regular dialogue between governments and all other relevant institutions and stakeholders at the EU-level,
  • act as a basis for and assist the EU to explore how existing EU-instruments related to integration can be developed further,
  • assist the Council to reflect upon and, over time, agree on EU-level mechanisms and policies needed to support national and local-level integration policy efforts, particularly through EU-wide learning and knowledge-sharing."

Source: JHA Council Conclusions of 19 November 2004

Common European Asylum System (CEAS)

The establishment of a common asylum procedure and a uniform status for those who are granted asylum or subsidiary protection in the EU, as well as strengthening practical cooperation between national asylum administrations and the external dimension of asylum.

Source: Communication COM(2008) 360 final

Community actions

Transnational actions of interest to the EU as a whole. These are financed by the EU through the Funds in the General Programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows". They are managed by the Commission (direct management).

Source: Communication COM(2005) 123 final

Community policing practices

A partnership-based, collaborative effort between the police and the community to more effectively and efficiently identify, prevent and solve problems of crime, the fear of crime, physical and social disorder and neighbourhood decay in order to improve the quality of life for everyone.

Source: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe


A penalty or measure, ordered by a court following proceedings in relation to a criminal offence or criminal offences, resulting in the final deprivation of property.

Source: Council Framework Decision 2005/212/JHA

Conventional weapon

Specific types of weapons that are considered to cause unnecessary or unjustifiable suffering to combatants or to affect civilians indiscriminately. There are seven categories of arms that are deemed the most lethal ones:

  • battle tanks,
  • armoured combat vehicles,
  • large-calibre artillery systems,
  • combat aircraft,
  • attack helicopters,
  • warships,
  • missiles and missiles launchers.

Source: United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs


The abuse of power for private gain (in both the public and the private sector).

Source: Communication COM(2011) 308 final


Unauthorized representation of a registered trademark carried on goods identical or similar to goods for which the trademark is registered, with a view to deceiving the purchaser into believing that he/she is buying the original goods.

Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Country of first asylum

Country in which a refugee or asylum seeker arrives and in which he/she finds, is deemed to have found or might have found protection from persecution, protection of his/her rights as a refugee, including non-refoulement, and the opportunity for a durable solution in accordance with applicable standards of international law.

Source: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Country of origin

The country that is a source of migratory flows (regular or irregular).

According to Directive 2004/83/EC, ""country of origin"" means the country or countries of nationality or, for stateless persons, of former habitual residence.

Source: International Organization for Migration, Council Directive 2004/83/EC

Country of Origin Information

Information used by EU States' asylum authorities to analyse the socio-political situation in countries of origin of applicants for international protection (and, where necessary, in countries through which they have transited) in the assessment, carried out on an individual basis, of an application for international protection.

Source: Communication COM(2006) 67 final

Country of transit

The country through which migratory flows (regular or irregular) move. This is taken to mean the country (or countries), different from the country of origin, through which a migrant passes in order to enter a country of destination.

Source: International Organization for Migration

Criminal proceeds

Any economic advantage from criminal offences. It may consist of any form of property, whether corporeal or incorporeal, movable or immovable, and legal documents or instruments evidencing title to or interest in such property.

Source: Council Framework Decision 2005/212/JHA

Critical infrastructure

Physical and information technology facilities, networks, services and assets that, if disrupted or destroyed, would have a serious impact on the health, safety, security or economic well-being of citizens or the effective functioning of governments in EU States. Critical infrastructures extend across many sectors of the economy, including banking and finance, transport and distribution, energy, utilities, health, food supply and communications, as well as key government services.

Source: Communication COM(2004) 702 final

Critical Infrastructure Warning Information Network (CIWIN)

CIWIN is a protected public internet-based information and communication system, offering recognised members of the EU’s critical infrastructure protection community the opportunity to exchange and discuss CIP-related information, studies and good practices across multiple sectors.

Source: CIWIN

Customs Information System (CIS)

An automated information system that assists EU States' administrative authorities in preventing, investigating and prosecuting operations that are in breach of customs or agricultural legislation by making information available more rapidly and thereby increasing the effectiveness of cooperation and control procedures.

Source: Council Regulation (EC) No 515/97

Cyber attack

Attacks against information systems carried out by using malicious software, including botnets.

Source: Proposal COM(2010) 517 final


Offences against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems (illegal access and interception, data and system interference, misuse of devices), computer-related offences (computer-related forgery and fraud), content-related offences (offences related to child pornography) and offences related to infringements of copyright and related rights, as well as attempting and aiding or abetting the commission of any of these offences.

Source: Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime

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