Brussels, 10 Sep 2004
The European Commission has outlined the next steps that it intends to take towards establishing an EU programme for security research in a communication to the other EU institutions.
The communication is a response to a report by a group of personalities on security research, presented to the Commission in March of this year. The report endorsed the proposal for a European Security Research Programme (ESRP), described the elements such a programme should have, and recommended a budget of one billion euro.
'New technologies are key in the fight against terrorism - in fact, they can save lives,' said EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. 'A strong European security research programme is critical for our security and it will enhance Europe's competitive edge in many areas.'
The next four steps involve consultation and cooperation with stakeholders, the establishment of an ESRP, the development of an effective institutional setting and the building of a governance structure responding to the urgency and nature of this subject.
As part of the 'consultation and cooperation with stakeholders' element, a European Security Research Advisory Board will be established in the autumn of 2004. The board will bring together experts from various stakeholder groups, and will establish user needs. The Commission and the stakeholders will also ensure that this European initiative 'also relates to work in international organisations'.
The Commission will table a proposal in early 2005 on the content, multi-annual financial plan and institutional framework of the ESRP, and will encourage an inter-institutional debate.
The Commission also intends to encourage the EU Member States to work with it to improve the coordination and optimisation of use of research and technology results for civil, security and defence applications.