Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Programme funding

EUR 65 million

Legislative Reference

COM(2004) 72 final of 2004-02-03
This Preparatory Action provides an opportunity to undertake activities to identify and address critical issues in order to prepare the foundations for a comprehensive European Security Research Programme from 2007 onwards.


Europe has entered a new phase in its history, marked by major political, demographic, social and economic changes. The challenge facing the EU-25 is to adapt and prosper within this changing environment, whilst being guided by the fundamental values and objectives of the Union.

Security has recently come to the fore as a global challenge due to world events and societal changes. Europe needs to invest in a "security culture" that harnesses the combined and relatively untapped strengths of the "security" industry and the research community in order to effectively and innovatively address existing and future security challenges.

Security is an evolving concept and presents many challenges to the EU-25 that impact on a wide range of existing and emerging EU policies and citizens' concerns, including protection against terrorist threats, and the adaptation of governance structures to effectively deal with these matters.

Europe needs to tackle new threats that are more diverse, less visible, and less predictable than ever. This calls for behavioural changes as well as more innovative means of dealing with complex situations to address security in a comprehensive manner ("comprehensive security").

Europe must use its technological strengths to build the capability for deploying significant resources for peacekeeping, humanitarian aid and state-building activities, either on its own or in international alliances. It requires an optimal use of the resources available and the further development of European industrial capabilities.

The Commission has launched a Preparatory Action in the field of Security Research, with a view to the establishment of a comprehensive programme after 2007. It is designed to assess the need for a further initiative that will complement and liaise with existing and future intergovernmental schemes, be open to all EU members and operate on the basis of Community principles, and contribute to bridging the current gap between generic civil research (as supported by EC Framework programmes) and national and intergovernmental programmes oriented to defence procurement needs.

The Preparatory Action constitutes a Commission contribution to the wider EU agenda to address Europe's challenges and threats (see the European Security Strategy endorsed by the European Council, December 2003). It is complementary to the actions and efforts being deployed by Member States and other EU institutions in this area. It focuses in particular on the development of a research agenda for advanced security while taking into account decisions concerning an Agency in the field of defense capabilities.


The following priority missions have been identified in consultation with national authorities, industry and research institutes, and a high-level Group of Personalities chaired by Commissioners Busquin and Liikanen:

_ Improving situation awareness;

_ Optimising security and protection of networked systems;

_ Protecting against terrorism (including bio-terrorism and incidents with biological, chemical and other substances);

_ Enhancing crisis management (including evacuation, search and rescue operations, active agents control and remediation);

_ Achieving interoperability and integrated systems for information and communication.


To implement this Action, a series of preliminary activities (projects and supporting activities) - established after a broad consultation with Member States, industry and research entities - will be carried out at Community level that will reference, complement and build on existing RTD projects and studies undertaken already in European, regional, national and intergovernmental contexts.

Projects will aim at demonstrating the potential for addressing the immediate security challenges that Europe faces, as well as considering possible technical, contractual, and implementation issues concerning the future programme. A limited number of projects (between 6-8) will be funded annually.

Supporting activities will aim at:
_ Addressing the fragmentation of structures in Europe;
_ The integration of heterogeneous networks;
_ Improving the understanding of the existing activities in specific fields;
_ Socio-economic and market studies;
_ Road-mapping;
_ Scenario building, including threat analysis;
_ Technology foresight exercises.

They will also contribute to the exploitation and valorisation of the results. A limited number of supporting activities will be implemented through calls for proposals and call for tenders.

The activities should support EU policies and initiatives and be consistent with EU policies and values - especially addressing the major concerns of EU citizens with respect to security and privacy, as well as those of common interest to Europe in a global context. In addition they should respect certain broad principles:

_ The relevance of the activities to the objectives of the Preparatory Action and the potential to contribute tangible and demonstrable improvements in security that can be brought to "maturity" within the timeframe of the Preparatory Action;

_ The stimulation of market conditions and innovative mechanisms to create opportunities for European industry to gain a comparative advantage;

_ The ability of the consortium to carry out the activities successfully, and to ensure the management of any intellectual property and, where applicable, the proper treatment of classified information;

_ The building of sustainable and effective partnerships, networks and working methodologies between (public) users, industry and research organisations.
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