Brussels, 23 Sep 2004
COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL,
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS Security Research: The Next Steps
Political, societal and technological developments have created a fluid security environment where risks and vulnerabilities are more diverse and less visible. New threats have emerged which ignore state borders and target European interests both within and outside EU territory.
Events such as the Madrid railway attacks of March 2004 underline the need to enhance the security for citizens throughout Europe. In addition, enlargement to a `Europe of 25' demands extra efforts to ensure a consistent high level of security throughout the whole of a Union with frontiers now extending to the East and the South.
To address the growing and diversifying security challenge, Europe needs to harness the combined and relatively untapped strengths of relevant industry and coordinates the research community in order effectively and innovatively to address existing and future security challenges, enhance the protection of the citizen and play an efficient role in peace-keeping activities. The threat to security which now exists can only be effectively addressed at European scale.
The need to address the new security situation, and the role of a strong industrial and technology base has been stressed by Heads of state and governments on various occasions:
­ The Cologne European Council, which emphasised the need for a competitive and dynamic industrial and defence base
­ The Lisbon Council drive to a competitive knowledge-based society
­ The Barcelona Council, calling for a boost to overall research, development and innovation effort in the Union
­ The decision of the Thessaloniki Council to take concrete steps in the field of defence
­ The adoption by Council of the EU Security Strategy `A secure Europe in a better world'1
­ The discussion at the Brussels Council of 25/26th March 2004 which resulted in a Declaration on Combating Terrorism.