Enhancing Support for the European Security and Defence Research: Challenges and Prospects

30-04-2015

In the real world, the notions of security and defence are often used interchangeably. One of the flagship external policies of the European Union – the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) – also consists of both concepts. However, in the EU Treaty, these two elements have distinct funding bases. External security funding remains firmly anchored in the EU’s budget, while the defence/military component is controlled and funded almost exclusively inter-governmentally. This division is also reflected in the research domain, leading to a paradoxical situation: while the EU’s research budget (channelled through its current multi-annual framework programme, Horizon 2020) is arguably the largest research budget in the world (reaching around EUR 70 billion), defence research in Europe remains underfunded, to the detriment of European defence capabilities and economic interests. While the European Defence Agency (EDA) has successfully initiated some small-scale defence research pooling initiatives (reaching around EUR 350 million since its creation), it remains a drop in the ocean of needs. This paper analyses the current state of play, and some actions proposed to foster synergies between security- and defence-related research, focusing on a preparatory action (PA) and a pilot project in support of CSDP-related research.

In the real world, the notions of security and defence are often used interchangeably. One of the flagship external policies of the European Union – the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) – also consists of both concepts. However, in the EU Treaty, these two elements have distinct funding bases. External security funding remains firmly anchored in the EU’s budget, while the defence/military component is controlled and funded almost exclusively inter-governmentally. This division is also reflected in the research domain, leading to a paradoxical situation: while the EU’s research budget (channelled through its current multi-annual framework programme, Horizon 2020) is arguably the largest research budget in the world (reaching around EUR 70 billion), defence research in Europe remains underfunded, to the detriment of European defence capabilities and economic interests. While the European Defence Agency (EDA) has successfully initiated some small-scale defence research pooling initiatives (reaching around EUR 350 million since its creation), it remains a drop in the ocean of needs. This paper analyses the current state of play, and some actions proposed to foster synergies between security- and defence-related research, focusing on a preparatory action (PA) and a pilot project in support of CSDP-related research.