About

In a world where the risks of man-made and natural disasters are ever-growing the key question is how societies can enhance their resilience and become better prepared. Current threats, ranging from natural disasters to crime and terrorism, are posing challenges to the security of citizens, infrastructure and the environment. In recent years this topic has hence received increased attention from the European Union. Strengthening capacities in disaster risk and crisis management and increasing resilience form the backbone of key EU policy and research challenges.

National and international policies have been initiated to contribute to enhanced preparedness and resilience of the EU. However, the security landscape is complex. It covers many different sectors, numerous communities and a vast range of operational procedures for preparedness, prevention, detection, surveillance, response, and recovery. Therefore, effective coordination and interaction are essential between the various stakeholders involved. Exchanges between the stakeholders, ranging from policymakers, research, industry and practitioners in the EU Member States, are facilitated by targeted research projects commissioned by the EU. These projects aim to produce innovative research outcomes in terms of technologies, training and network building.

The outcomes of these research projects and policy initiatives are of interest to a broad community. However, the complexity of the security domain thwarts identification and dissemination of relevant information. This results in a lack of awareness about policy developments and research outputs. The Community of Users aims to address this issue by making the latest policy updates and research outputs, accessible and more visible via its events, its webpage and its annual mapping document.

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Research and Capacity Building

EU research funding is coordinated by different “research families,” namely various programmes of DG RTD, DG CNECT, and DG HOME, as well as the Joint Research Centre (JRC). Other programmes focus on capacity-building and training; prevention, preparedness and response projects in disaster risk management are, for instance, promoted by DG ECHO (civil protection) and through the INTERREG programme, while security-related projects are managed by DG HOME through the Internal Security Funds.

EU research funding is coordinated by different “research families,” namely various programmes of DG RTD, DG CNECT, and DG HOME, as well as the Joint Research Centre (JRC). Other programmes focus on capacity-building and training; prevention, preparedness and response projects in disaster risk management are, for instance, promoted by DG ECHO (civil protection) and through the INTERREG programme, while security-related projects are managed by DG HOME through the Internal Security Funds.

Who are the users?

The issues of security, safety, and resilience concerns and affects many people in different disciplines and sectors.

We have identified five main categories of users of relevant policy and research efforts:

  • policy makers
  • scientists
  • industry (including SMEs)
  • practitioners
  • NGOs and the general public

 

Why build a Community of Users?

The Community of Users provides a platform to share information across Member States and brings together the latest policy and research developments in an easily accessible format. It encourages the exchange of information and thereby supports those responsible for countering the various threats we face.

How does the community achieve this?

The bi-annual week-long events serve as a forum for information exchanges between various actors of EU-funded security research (research, policy, industry, and practitioners).

On a second level, the improvement of synergies among future research, capacity-building, demonstration and training projects as well as industrial developments can be found. These synergies are fostered through the Community of Users events as well as through the annual mapping publication.

The way ahead

In the short term, the goal of the Community of Users is to create an information exchange platform that provides users a greater visibility of policies, projects, and research.

In the longer term, the community encourages those involved in disaster risk and crisis management, fight against crime and terrorism, and border security to share their experiences more frequently to support the development new initiatives with synergies across the EU and beyond.

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