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MEP calls for more money for security research on satellites and telecommunications

German MEP and rapporteur on the European Security Strategy Karl Von Wogau has appealed for EU spending on security research to treble to 300 million euro as soon as possible. Mr Von Wogau spoke on 10 May at the European Security Round Table, a new annual policy forum that ...

German MEP and rapporteur on the European Security Strategy Karl Von Wogau has appealed for EU spending on security research to treble to 300 million euro as soon as possible. Mr Von Wogau spoke on 10 May at the European Security Round Table, a new annual policy forum that he initiated. At the inaugural meeting, Mr Von Wogau argued that common security risks such as terrorism, distribution of weapons of mass destruction, regional conflicts, natural catastrophes and dependence on energy supply cannot be managed by military means alone. Mr Von Wogau believes that priority areas for research collaboration should be in telecommunications and satellite technology. 'Civilian and military crisis management must therefore still be linked more closely in Europe, thereby removing obstacles like the serious deficits in European information and telecommunications technology,' said the MEP. 'It is irresponsible to send troops to a crisis region with incompatible telecommunications equipment or without direct access to satellite-based information 'European security research should therefore contribute to the development of telecommunications systems on the basis of common standards,' he said. 'These devices should make an individual coding for each user possible, but they should also be compatible with one another if necessary.' Mr Von Wogau also sees gaps in satellite-based information, and calls for all information in this area to be collated. Until now, France, Spain and Italy have had a common system of optical reconnaissance satellites named HELIOS, while Germany will have its own system based on radar technology from 2007. 'However, the next generation of reconnaissance satellites should be a common European system, open to all Member States at the European Satellite Centre in Torrejón, Spain,' said Mr Von Wogau. A common system would save money and improve technical efficiency, he added. An EU preparatory action on security research is now in its third year, and will lead to a fully fledged programme on security research within the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). This will be the first time that security research has had a budget of its own within the EU's research programmes. The objectives set out for security research in FP7 are : - developing the technologies and knowledge necessary to ensure the security of citizens from threats such as terrorism and organised crime, while respecting fundamental human rights; - ensuring the best use of available technologies in civil and defence-related areas; - stimulating cooperation between providers and users in security solutions. The proposal aims to ensure that security related research supports the Common Foreign and Security Policy, contributes to a high level of security within an EU-wide area of justice, freedom and security, and supports the development of technologies and capabilities in support of other EU policies, in areas such as transport, civil protection, energy and environment.