EU Efforts in Managing CBRN Terror Attacks

Friedrich Steinhäusler, University of Salzburg



The international security expert community foresees as a growing probability for terrorist attacks using chemical (C), biological (B), radiological (R), and nuclear (N) material. Despite the high-impact such an event would have on the targeted society, the low probability of its occurrence reduces the willingness in some European Union (EU) Member States to invest in an increased level of CBRN preparedness beyond the absolute minimum. The European Commission has responded by allocating € 1,350 million for security research for the period 2007 to 2013, partly also for countering R- and N-related threats. This paper reports on: (1) Results of a comprehensive gap analysis among 80 EU first responder organisations (police, fire fighters, emergency medical services) in 25 EU Member States concerning the management of a mega-crisis, inter alia also concerning CBRN; (2) Analysis of major CBRN counterterrorism research achievements in the EU.


Proceedings of NATO Advanced Research Workshop on “Preparedness for Nuclear and Radiological Threats”,

Los Angeles, USA, 18-20 November 2014.




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