EU: Low support for research to serve security demands



The European Commission's Directorate General for Research has carried out a consultation on its Communication "Science and Technology, the key to Europe's future - Guidelines for for European Union policy to support research". Over 1,700 organisations and individuals responded to an online questionnaire.

Over there was very strong support for the need to strengthen support for research at the European level - over 97% of responses. Positive responses for the "six major objectives" were 75% plus. But when it came to "the only two specific priorities identified in the guidelines" - "space and security related research" - the level of support dropped significantly. Only 64.5% supported research and space policy and security related research scored the lowest of any of the objectives with only 64.4% and the two policy areas also scored the highest level of negative opinion - with 23% saying that research in these areas was either "not important" or "unnecessary".

The Commission's analysis also notes that "many comments" were made on "security related research" which stressed: "that such research must strike the right balance with fundamental liberties, human rights and social values".

These responses are interesting in the context that the EU is committed to an enormous expansion of "security related research" under the "European Security Research Agenda" which will place civilian research under the direction of security and military needs:

Documentation

1. Analysis of the Stakeholder Consultation on "Science and Technology" research (pdf)

2. UK: House of Commons Select Committee on European Scrutiny issues a critical report on the European Security Research Plan: 12th report (link)

3. EU security research agenda: List of "personalities" but how much power should they have? Did the Commission simply reproduce the recommendations of the "Group of Personalities" in its Communication? Report and list

4. Security research programme to look at creating "smart" biometric documents which will "locate,identify and follow the movement of persons" through "automatic chips with positioning":
Report and documentation


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