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Brussels, 29th September 2008

Security research for a safer world

Making Europe more secure for its citizens while maintaining civil rights and liberties is the goal of European Security Research. By co-operating and coordinating efforts on a Europe-wide scale, the EU can better understand and adequately respond to risks in a constantly changing world and enhance its competitiveness at the same time. Innovative technological solutions such as advanced video surveillance in public stadium areas facilitate the action of security authorities. This is a new common research project involving 23 European security administrations and one United Nations agency to benefit from each others experience, to avoid duplication and to obtain a critical mass of resources. The research network, called EU-SEC II, is funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme for Research. It is one, among many, concrete action that will be presented today at the third European Security Research Conference

Vice President Günter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industry policy including security research said: “The continued risk of terrorist attacks as well as of natural disasters should not lead to a limitation to European citizens freedoms. This has led the Commission to fund EU wide targeted research efforts. Security research can give us the tools to enhance security while preserving our liberties. We must enhance security but we must also avoid 'big brother is watching you' solutions. Striking the right balance remains challenging, in Europe with such a historical diversity. This underlines the need for non-technological research work also to be covered. The strong European security research programme will not only improve the security of citizens as it will also enhance Europe's competitive edge in high tech applications”.

Under the authority of Günter Verheugen 1.4 billion Euros from the EU budget are dedicated to security research. The recently launched call for proposals is focusing on subjects fight against terrorism, protection of infrastructures, crisis management and border security and is also going to be presented to the audience.

The objectives of the conference, jointly organised by the French presidency and the European Commission are to bring together more than 1000 representatives of the security communities: users such as police forces, fire-fighters, first responders or border guards, public authorities and technology suppliers from the public and private sectors. Security research could only be successful if it effectively brings the final users into the research projects.

Vice President Jacques Barrot, in charge of Justice, Freedom and Security policies highlighted the importance of this shared commitment: "Security Research must provide effective, affordable, flexible and acceptable security solutions capable of meeting evolving security challenges while fully complying with the very high standards of rights and guaranties demanded by our citizens. This requires detailed and transparent work involving public and private sectors as well as civil society both at EU and National level. Today's Conference is exemplary in this regard"

The Commission aims to ensure that its security research programs lead to practical security solutions, not only bridging the so-called "innovation gap" but also mirroring security policy priorities. The three financial Framework programmes in the Justice and Home affairs area – "Solidarity and the Management of migration flows", "Fundamental rights and justice" and "Security and safeguarding liberties" with a combined budget of more than 7 billion Euros increasingly draw on results of research programmes, including EU ones, and focus on deploying innovating solutions. [1]

On Tuesday 30 September, Gijs de Vries, chairman of the ESRIF, the European Security Research and Innovation Forum, will present the mid-term results of these research activities after one year of activity. In ESRIF, public and private stakeholders of the security community are working towards establishing a Joint Security Research Agenda for Europe for the next twenty years.

The above mentioned EU-SEC II project aims at contributing to the common identification of priorities through the creation of a durable structuring effect of the demand side of the European technology market. Thus, the involved partners will be able to push the technology suppliers market to effectively react to meet their exigencies.

Information on FP7 Security Research is available:

Information on ESRIF can be found on:

Information on SRC08 can be found on:

Additional information on the project EU-SEC

DG JLS website:


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