European Security Research and Innovation Agenda
This communication is the Commission’s first reaction to the European Security Research and Innovation Forum’s (ESRIF) key findings and recommendations. ESRIF has defined a European Security Research and Innovation Agenda (ESRIA) that serves as a common strategic roadmap for security research and innovation to support the development of European security.
Communication from the Commission of 21 December 2009 – “A European Security Research and Innovation Agenda – Commission’s initial position on ESRIF’s key findings and recommendations” [COM(2009) 691 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
In light of modern security concerns, the European Security Research and Innovation Forum (ESRIF) was established in 2007 to develop a European Security Research and Innovation Agenda (ESRIA). With a view to improving coherence at European Union (EU), national and regional levels, the agenda provides a common strategic roadmap for security research and innovation. This communication presents the Commission’s initial view on ESRIF’s key findings and recommendations for the agenda.
Societal security and resilience
The human and societal aspects of security must be at the heart of security research. The EU must strengthen the legal and ethical dimensions of all security solutions to guarantee the rights and freedoms of individuals, in particular as regards privacy. In addition, it must reinforce the societal dimension of security technologies to ensure that they allow societies to effectively respond to risks and losses (“societal resilience”).
The EU security industry has previously suffered from the fragmentation of markets, which has led it to be nationally or even regionally oriented. To protect the interests of its citizens and provide for a competitive security industry, the EU needs to pursue a strong and independent technological and scientific base. It should aim for a leadership position in the global security market, endorsing the idea of a Lead Market Initiative (LMI) for the sector. To this end, the EU needs to develop an ambitious industrial policy that will:
- overcome market fragmentation, by putting in place certification, validation and standardisation -mechanisms (including a “European Security Label”), harmonising the regulatory framework, and developing technical and organisational interoperability standards to improve exchanges of information, especially on cross-border security issues;
- strengthen the industrial base, by mapping the competencies of the European Security Technological and Industrial Base (ESTIB), supporting innovation policy by bringing innovative security sectors into the LMI and accelerating pre-commercial procurement, promoting the take up of security issues already at the conception stage of new products/systems (“security by design”), and strengthening complementarity and cooperation between civil and defence technologies in specific areas.
Security research and development (R&D) roadmap
Since the thorough anticipation of future security threats is not possible, the EU should focus its security R&D on strengthening its ability to resist and recover from crises, both from the technological and societal points of view. Divided into five clusters, the ESRIA provides an integrative approach to R&D support for current security missions:
- classic security cycle of preventing, protecting, preparing, responding and recovering;
- countering of different means of attack;
- securing critical assets/infrastructures;
- securing identity, access and movement of people and goods;
- cross-cutting enablers, in particular Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
For future security missions, the R&D measures need to be further assessed. ESRIF recommends that particular attention is given to some research areas that were excluded from its mandate and that will likely increase in importance in future, in particular the external dimension of security. The Commission believes that further consideration also needs to be given to the inclusion of civil protection as well as conflict prevention and post crisis management into security R&D programmes.
For future solutions to correspond to the real needs of public and private end-users, they as well as supply and demand stakeholders must be consulted actively throughout the security research policy planning, execution and review cycles. Furthermore, ESRIF encourages the development of a strategic and coordinated approach to trans-European cooperation and the setting-up of an Internal Security Fund to provide resources for security R&D. Finally, education and training should be better used to raise public awareness of all security-related issues.
- ESRIF website