Commissioners Philippe Busquin and Erkki Liikannen on 6 October discussed the development of a European agenda for security research with a group of representatives from industry, government and academia. The Commission has earmarked 65 million euro for a preparatory action programme (2004-2006) aimed at defining the priorities of a long-term strategy for a fully-fledged EU security research programme from 2007.
The Commission argues that the traditional separation between civil and military research in Europe is "artificial" and is no longer adequate to respond to ever more sophisticated security threats and increasing public security concerns.
The Commission therefore calls for stronger cooperation between the traditionally distinct sectors of civil and security research, similar to the approach followed by the US.
In its communication "Towards an EU Defence Equipment Policy" of March 2003, the Commission had invited all stakeholders to pool expertise and investment for research and development (see
EurActiv 12 March 2003
The Commission will present a follow-up communication in November 2003 which will include the recommendations of the "Group of Personalities" and is planning to launch the preparatory action in early 2004.