Brussels, 21 Apr 2005
The European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee has adopted a report by Polish MEP Bogdan Klich on security research, which calls for a minimum annual budget of one billion euro for the proposed European Security Research Programme (ESRP).
Mr Klich broadly supports the Commission's proposals for a security research programme, highlighting recent geo-political, social and technological changes, as well as world events, which have made such an initiative necessary. However, the rapporteur's paper calls for a more interdisciplinary approach to security research than is outlined in the Commission's proposals.
'In my report the Foreign Affairs Committee points out to the European Commission that the ESRP should not only support research activities exclusively concentrating on strictly political-military security challenges,' said Mr Klich following the committee meeting. Indeed, Mr Klich's report 'calls for a more balanced interaction between research in the natural sciences and technology and other sciences, in particular political, social and human sciences.'
The Foreign Affairs Committee also agreed with Mr Klich on the need to draw no distinction between security and safety research. 'The EU should also fund projects related to the new security challenges which contain dual elements of security and safety,' said Mr Klich. 'Those are the challenges of the contemporary security environment.'
In addition to addressing the contemporary security environment in which Europe finds itself, pursuing a security research strategy will also enhance Europe's industrial competitiveness, according to Mr Klich. US investment in homeland security is around four times greater than that invested by Europe, and this funding, which is in addition to that for research into dual-use technologies, is spread across a range of US departments, representing a comprehensive approach to security research.
If the EU were to have a specific programme for security research with a budget of one billion euro, it would contribute to efforts to meet the Lisbon and Barcelona goals of making Europe's economy the most competitive in the world and increasing research spending to three per cent of GDP, states the report.