Our societies face growing threats, from natural disasters to crime and terrorism, that put our safety and security at risk. International, EU, and national policies are dealing with the question how societies can prepare themselves and manage emerging risks.
They cover multiple sectors and feature a huge range of operational procedures for preparedness, prevention, detection, surveillance, response, and recovery. To support these policies, organisations around the EU are commissioning ground-breaking research, developing new technologies and delivering training projects.
This information can be helpful to our users who are policy makers, scientists, industry and practitioners, such as emergency services, firefighters, and police. However, with so much information available, and the complexity of policy frameworks, it can be difficult to find the information you need.
The Community of Users addresses this by making the latest policies, research, and projects accessible and more visible to a broad range of stakeholders.
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 funding bodies focus on capacity-building and training, Prevention, preparedness and response projects in disaster risk management are, for instance, funded by DG ECHO and security-related projects funded by DG HOME. Linked to EU research actions, the European Defence Agency (EDA) funds research projects that interact with DG HOME funded projects under the European Framework Cooperation (EFC).
While research programming and policy responsibilities sit with the respective General-Directorates of the European Commission, the management of projects is increasingly delegated to sister agencies, namely the Research Executive Agency (REA) and the Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME).
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
- industry (including SMEs)
- training and operational units
- civil society (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 a way that is easy to access. It encourages the exchange of information and practices to support those responsible for countering the various threats we face. How is this going to be achieved? A forum of information exchanges represents the first level of interactions at EU level among research, policy, industry, and practitioners active in EU-funded security research.
The improvement of synergies among future research, capacity-building, demonstration and training projects as well as industrial developments represents the second level.
The way ahead
In the short term, our goal is to create an information exchange platform that provides users a greater visibility of policies, projects, and research.
In the longer term, we want those involved in disaster risk and crisis management to share more of their experiences and help us develop new initiatives with synergies across the EU and beyond.