Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Stronger public security through research

An EU research team explored ways to increase the engagement of Civil Society Organizations in Security Research.
Stronger public security through research
The Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge ‘Secure societies – Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens’ currently involves research in four broad areas. These are crisis management and resilience against disasters; organised crime, counterterrorism and anti-radicalisation; border control and management; and cybersecurity. SECUREPART (Increasing the engagement of civil society in security research) explored ways to strengthen the participation of civil society organisations (CSOs) within the European Security Research Programme (ESRP).

Researchers analysed the institutional context of relevant research and engagement policies. This included an analysis of the content and status of Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) security research projects and reviews on other non-security research. They then used supply-demand logic to uncover existing, missing or untapped opportunities for CSO engagement in the ESRP, but also regarding capacities and incentives for CSOs and other research actors to collaborate productively. Additionally, they developed a communication plan on potential benefits of security research activities as well as a strategy and action plan to increase CSO participation.

Findings indicate that there are many CSOs that include a security provision. These are often hybrid organisations, which are on the border between public administration, research organisations or small enterprises. There is the lack of a clear, jointly shared and legally binding definition of what a CSO is, which results in an under-representation in EU security research projects. Furthermore, interviews, online surveys and an interactive CSO-Stakeholder workshop revealed that although there are CSOs interested in security research, over one third do not consider security research relevant to their activities. Hence, they do not participate.

Dissemination of SECUREPART results took place through various means, including policy briefs, social media, newsletters, brochures, posters and websites. The outcomes will help achieve greater engagement with and involvement of civil society organisations and their advocates in EU security research in the future.

Related information




Public security, Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge, SECUREPART, security research, civil society organisations
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