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Secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens

The central objective of actions under this Societal Challenge is to protect our citizens, society and economy as well as our prosperity, infrastructures and services, and the political stability. Any malfunctions or disorders are associated with high economic and societal costs. Therefore, the resilience of our society against natural and man-made disasters has to be improved.

With the increasing dependence on information and communication technologies, the security gaps of the digital technologies are becoming a threat to the European economy and society. Cyber security has become a political and economic priority in Europe and worldwide, and is therefore now part of the Societal Challenge Secure societies. 

Another new dimension of the Horizon 2020 security research is to support the EU's external security policies. This requires research into conflict resolution and peace-building and also promoting joint civil-military capabilities for civilian protection, humanitarian relief, border management and other civil security missions.

In the European security research, the role of societal issues will be further strengthened and ethical acceptability of the projects must be ensured. A closer linking to technological research and development will be supported in order to ensure holistic solutions to protect the freedom and security of citizens. 

For the calls for proposals under this Societal Challenge, a budget of EUR 1.612 billion is foreseen (2.2% of the total budget for Horizon 2020).