Observatory on the European Security Research Programme (ESRP)

What is the ESRP?

The European Security Research Programme is a €1.4 billion component of the current seven-year EU Framework Research Programme (FP7, 2007-13). The ESRP has the twin objectives of enhancing public safety through the development of security technologies and fostering the growth of a globally competitive European 'Homeland Security' market. Unlike other aspects of FP7, the ESRP is managed by the European Commission's DG for Enterprise and Industry rather than DG Research. Significant additional funding has also been allocated to the security aspects of other themes in the €51 billion FP7 programme (e.g. space, transport, energy, nanotechnology etc).

Research by Statewatch and the Transnational Institute has shown how the design of the ESRP was largely outsourced to the major players in the nascent European Homeland Security industry, instituting an apparent conflict of interests within which large multinationals have been able to shape the security research agenda, apply for the subsequent R&D funds on offer, and then sell the resulting technologies and systems back to the governments that funded their development. According to a 2010 report commissioned by the European Parliament, "it is mostly large defence companies, the very same who have participated in the definition of EU-sponsored security research which are the main beneficiaries of [ESRP] funds".

The EU has also recommended member states to establish dedicated national security research programmes and at least seven have done so.

Latest documents

Critical reports - Statewatch/Transnational Institute

European Commission, Advisory Group and European parliament documents

Projects funded under the ESRP

Israel's involvement in the ESRP

EU websites

Lobbyists

NeoConOpticon blog

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