Brussels, 9 September 2004
The EU should launch a fully-fledged European Security Research
Programme by 2007, with a sufficiently large budget. This is the
core message of a Communication on “Security Research: The
Next Steps”, just adopted by the European Commission. The
paper represents the Commission’s feedback to recommendations
of a high-level group of 27 top European industry executives and
policymakers, published last March. The report, "Research for
a Secure Europe", stresses the need for increased co-ordination
in this field and advocates an annual EU budget of € 1 billion
for security research.
“New technologies are key
in the fight against terrorism - in fact, they can save lives,”
said European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. “A strong
European security research programme is critical for our security
and it will enhance Europe's competitive edge in many areas. Europe
simply cannot afford to ignore this critical area.”
“Events have pushed security
to the top of the political agenda both in Europe and across the
globe. Nevertheless, EU Member States invest less than half as much
as US in defence, whilst only achieving a fifth of the capabilities,”
added Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Olli Rehn.
“The prerequisite for competitive industry is strong underlying
research. The Communication is a firm step on the path towards a
coherent European approach to security-related research.”
Seal of approval
The Communication identifies steps ahead, including: development
of a European Security Research Programme (ESRP), as part of the
7th EU Research Framework Programme (2007-2010); consultation and
co-operation with stakeholders, via a “European Security Research
Advisory Board” to be set up in 2004; creation of an effective
institutional setting that takes into account the Union’s
relevant policies - namely the Common Foreign and Security Policy
(CFSP), European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), and the new
European Defence Agency (EDA); specific measures for the allocation
of contracts and funding in security research.
Testing the waters
Last March, the Commission launched a three-year “Preparatory
Action” in the field of Security Research. With a budget of
€15 million for 2004 and € 25 million a year for 2005
and 2006, the Preparatory Action is a first step towards a full
ESRP from 2007. The first call for proposals closed on 23 June and
over 170 eligible proposals were submitted.
Participants include companies in the aerospace, information &
communication technologies, system integrators and defence sectors.
12 projects will be launched by December, covering areas such as
situation awareness, protection of networked systems, protection
against terrorism, crisis management and interoperability of control
and communications systems. Two further calls for proposals will
be issued in early 2005 and 2006.
Next on the agenda
This Autumn a “European Security Research Advisory Board”
with experts from user groups, industry and research organisations,
will start advising the EU on the content and implementation of
the ESRP. In 2005 a proposal on the content, financial aspects and
institutional framework for an ESRP will be presented by the Commission.
Security research is already included in the proposed Financial
Perspectives of the Union for 2007-2013.
Research DG, European Commission
Tel: +32-2-296.90.56, Fax: + 32-2-295.82.20,
Patrick.Vittet-Philippe @ cec.eu.int
Commissioner Philippe Busquin’s
Spokesman for Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin, Press
Tel. +32.2.296 41 74, Fax +32.2.296 30 03
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