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Cluster "Civil Security for Society"

© adam121 – stock.adobe.com
© adam121 – stock.adobe.com

Contents and backgrounds

"Civil Security for Society" aims to efficiently counter the rapidly increasing security threats to the citizens of Europe. Terrorist attacks, organised crime, illegal immigration and cyber-attacks, as well as natural and man-made disasters, are putting increasing pressure on societies in Europe. In addition to technological solutions, especially against threats of an increasingly complex and digitalized society, societal, cultural, historically evolved behavioral patterns as well as ethical aspects of balancing security and freedom must also be taken into account in security research. Furthermore, Europe must ensure its independence from safety-critical technologies.

The Horizon Europe Specific Programme, which sets the thematic framework for the Cluster, identifies the following "Areas of Intervention":

  • Disaster-Resilient Societies

  • Protection and Security

  • Cybersecurity

The following "Expected Impacts" are to be achieved:

  • Improved disaster risk management and societal resilience, leading to reduced losses from man-made and natural disasters

  • Improved management of air, land and sea EU external borders, leading to better monitoring of movements across external borders and reduction of illegal movements of people and goods across those borders

  • Better protection of citizens from violent attacks in public spaces, through more effective prevention, preparedness and response

  • Improved security and resilience of infrastructure and vital societal functions, such as healthcare, law enforcement, energy, mobility, public services, financial services, communication and logistics infrastructures/networks

  • Improved maritime safety, including from man-made and natural disasters and from security challenges such as trafficking, piracy and potential terrorist attacks, cyber and hybrid threats, notably through better maritime surveillance and capability development

  • Fighting crime and terrorism more effectively, particularly through better prevention of criminal acts and enhanced investigation capabilities notably as concerns cybercrime

  • Cybersecurity and a secure online environment, with citizens, public bodies and companies empowered to protect their data and online activities

The actual calls to submit project proposals electronically can be found in the respective current Work Programme (see documents), which is prepared by the European Commission for a period of two to three years and contains all relevant details on the calls for proposals. The calls and all necessary documents are published online on the Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal of the European Commission. The calls are predominantly multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary as well as inter-sectoral in nature and offer opportunities for the involvement of humanities and social sciences. In the Cluster, the participation of users in the R&I projects is usually a funding condition.

Project proposals can be financed through 'Wege der Innovation', a development grant to allow Germany-based project coordinators to participate in Cluster 3.

No European Partnerships are planned for the Civil Security for Society Cluster; however, the European Defence Fund finances complementary research and innovation projects through a yearly work programme.

Important players

Given the overarching content structure of the Cluster, several Directorates General (DG) of the European Commission are involved in the Work Programmes and calls for proposals. These are the Directorates General Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME), Communication Networks, Content and Technologies (DG CNECT). The Directorate General for Research & Innovation (DG RTD) is formally involved in the implementation of the Framework Programme.

Cybersecurity is a priority policy area for the European Union. The European Parliament and the Council of Ministers adopted the Cybersecurity Act in 2019 as part of the Digital Strategy. This legislation created the European Network and Information Security Agency, which is a key player in EU cybersecurity measures.