Brussels, 15 March 2004
A high-level group of 27 top European industry executives and policymakers formally presented their report today to Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission. The report entitled, "Research for a Secure Europe", describes the need for increased European funding and co-ordination in security research. It also outlines 12 recommendations for the future, including an urgent call for a minimum of € 1 billion to be spent annually to develop technology in this area. The group, chaired by European Commissioners Philippe Busquin (Research) and Erkki Liikanen (Enterprise and Information Society), was convened last October in order to present their vision for a future European Security Research Programme from 2007.
President Prodi welcomed the report:
"Last Thursday's tragic events in Madrid remind us of the urgency
and importance of being prepared against old and new threats to
our security. It shows that the damaging effects on the daily life
of the European citizens can be enormous. This report opens a new
area of activity in which the added value of closer cooperation,
joint efforts and increased investment at EU level is indisputable.
That is why we have included security research in our blueprint
for the EU's financial perspectives for 2007 - 2013."
"Technology alone cannot guarantee security, but security
without technology is impossible, "said European Research Commissioner
Philippe Busquin: "With our € 65 million preparatory action
on security research and recommendations made by these industrial
and political leaders, we are paving the way for an ambitious European
security research programme by 2007."
"Today's Report confirms the need to match Europe's security
ambition with a vision setting out how we can mobilise our industrial
and research skills to bring this about", said Enterprise and
Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen. "By taking
forward this new research agenda we can strengthen the Union's security,
boost European competitiveness and bridge the gap between civil
and defence research. Electronics, information technology and telecommunications
are at the heart of solutions to current security challenges. We
welcome this Report which will allow us to reinforce the Union's
well-established strengths in this area."
The who's who in European
The high-level group or "Group of Personalities") in
the field of security research was brought together to help identify
the main guidelines of a forthcoming "European Security Research
Programme" (ESRP) and set the tone for a truly European approach
in this domain.
The Group is composed of top European political figures, serving
Members of the European Parliament, European security and defence
industry chief executive officers (CEOs), heads of major research
institutes, high-level European defence ministry officials, senior
officials from international defence organizations.
Delegates, including Mr Javier Solana, the High Representative
for the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), also participated
in the group's work.
New risks need new solutions
The Group's Report describes how geo-political, social and technological
developments have created a security environment where risks and
vulnerabilities are more diverse, less visible and require a "comprehensive
European security approach". This approach would address security-related
needs inside as well as outside EU borders and combine civil and
military means. The Report stresses that the EU needs to develop
new technological capabilities to protect its citizens at home as
well as being capable of deploying resources for activities outside
Protecting European citizens
The forthcoming "European Security Research Programme"
would fund the development of security systems and products to ensure:
- The protection of EU Member States' territories, domestic population,
and critical infrastructure against security threats.
- The success of EU-missions outside the Union for peacekeeping,
conflict prevention and strengthening international security in
accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.
Ready for peace
According to the Report, technology should provide leverage for
making the most of our security potential, as a 'force enabler'
for a safer Europe. To achieve this would require state-of-the-art
know how, high tech industries, a strong knowledge infrastructure,
appropriate funding and an optimal use of resources. The Report
argues that while Europe has world-class research institutes and
a strong industrial base to address security requirements, the institutional
and political level does not always follow suit. This may prevent
Europe from reaching its full potential. Specific weaknesses mentioned
in the Report include:
- Artificial divide between defence and civil research;
- Lack of specific schemes for security research at the EU level;
- Limited co-operation between EU Member States;
- Lack of co-ordination among national and European efforts.
These deficiencies are said to "exacerbate the lack of public
research funding and present major obstacles to delivering cost-effective
The price of security
The Report emphasises that an ESRP should not replace, nor duplicate
Member State's efforts, but rather support and complement them.
A Community-funded ESRP, as proposed in the Report, would have a
minimum annual budget of €1 billion with the possibility of
a further increase.
In line with the objective for the EU to raise spending in research
from 1,9% to 3% of EU average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2010,
ESRP money would add to funding from the EU Research Framework Programme,
national or other intergovernmental sources. This spending level
would bring the combined EU (EU, national and intergovernmental)
security research investment closer to that of the U.S.
Laying the groundwork
The ESRP is set to build on a test phase or "Preparatory Action"
on security research that will run from 2004 to 2006. Experience
and knowledge gained from this phase will help ensure that a future
Programme will be optimally designed and appropriately funded. The
first call for proposals for the Preparatory Action will be published
in March 2004. Over the coming year, €15 million has been allocated
to fund six to eight projects and other supporting activities. The
overall budget of the preparatory action amounts to €65 million.
For more information:
Note to Editors
For additional information
Patrick Vittet-Philippe, Press and information officer, Research
Tel.: +32.2.296 90 56, Fax: +32.2.295 82 20
Commissioner Busquin's Spokesman
Fabio Fabbi, Commissioner Busquin's Spokesman, DG Press,
Tel + 32.2.296 41 74, Fax: +32.2.295 82 20,
The Report of the Group of Personalities in the field of Security
Research gives the following twelve recommendations:
A EU-funded ESRP that ensures the involvement of all Member States
should be launched as early as 2007. Its minimum funding should
be set at €1 billion per year in addition to existing funding.
This spending level should be rapidly achieved, with the possibility
to increase it further to bring the combined European security research
investment level closer to that of the U.S.
An ESRP should fund research projects that boost Europe's security
capability for applications particularly relating to Internal Security
in the EU and for Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)/European
Security and Defence Policy (ESDP)-missions.
In closing the gap between civil and defence research, an ESRP
should seek to maximize the benefits of different aspects of technology.
In order to stimulate synergies, it should encourage transformation,
integration of applications and technology transfer from one sector
to the other.
An ESRP should focus on interoperability and connectivity as key
elements of cross-border and inter-service co-operation, so as to
ensure communication between different security agencies across
Europe in case of emergencies. In this context, a set of rules and
standards should be worked out at an early stage.
The rules governing an ESRP must suit the specificities of security
research. The Commission should develop the necessary rules for
intellectual property rights (IPRs) and technology transfer in consultation
with all relevant stakeholders.
Recognising that many requirements will be specified by governments,
new financing instruments should be created to enable research funding
to be allocated, when appropriate, to cover 100% of costs.
A 'Security Research Advisory Board' should be established to draw
strategic guidelines to prepare the research agenda of an ESRP as
well as to advise on the principles and mechanisms for its implementation.
Moreover, it should identify critical technology areas where Europe
should aim for an independent competitive capability. The Board
should consist of high-level experts including public and private
customers, industry, research organizations and any other relevant
A definition of customer needs will be key for the successful implementation
of an ESRP. A mechanism should therefore be established at EU level
to identify, in consultation with potential customers, future capability
needs for Internal Security missions.
Effective co-ordination must make sure that the ESRP does not duplicate,
but instead complements other European research activities whether
funded at the EU, national or intergovernmental level.
The Commission and the Council of Ministers should ensure an effective
and efficient liaison between an ESRP and the future 'Agency in
the field of defence capabilities development, research, acquisition
The ESRP should take into account and, where appropriate, co-ordinate
the research efforts of international organizations with the responsibilities
associated with global or regional security issues.
An ESRP should aim at fostering competitiveness in European security
industries and stimulating the market development of public and
private security products and systems. Implementing the Proposals
for Action put forward in the Commission's Communication 'Towards
a European defence equipment market' would greatly help to achieve
this objective and maximize the benefits of an ESRP.
The Group of Personalities in the field of Security Research
- Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland
- Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister of Sweden
- Philippe Busquin, Member of the European Commission, responsible
- Jan Dekker, President TNO Management Board (until November 2003)
- Thomas Diehl, President and CEO, Diehl Stiftung & Co.
- Pier-Francesco Guarguaglini, Chairman and CEO, Finmeccanica
- François Heisbourg, Director, Fondation Recherche Stratégique
- Rainer Hertrich, CEO, EADS
- Philippe Kourilsky, President, Institut Pasteur
- Erkki Liikanen, Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society
- Erik Löwenadler, President, Ericsson Microwave Systems
- Eryl McNally, Member of the European Parliament
- Javier Monzón, Chairman and CEO, INDRA
- Ilias Pentazos, Director General, Defence Industry, Research & Technology, Hellenic Ministry of Defence
- Denis Ranque, Chairman and CEO, THALES
- Maria João Rodrigues, President ISCTE, Lisbon
- Christian Rovsing, Member of the European Parliament
- Mike Turner, CEO, BAE Systems
- Elly Plooij- van Gorsel, Member of the European Parliament
- Marc Vankeirsbilck, Belgian Ministry of Defence
- Karl von Wogau, Member of the European Parliament
- Claus Weyrich, Senior Vice President, Siemens
- Victor Aguado, Director General, EUROCONTROL
- Nazzareno Cardinali, Director, OCCAR
- Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General, European Space Agency
- Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy
- Ernst Van Hoek, Chairman, WEAG/WEAO