BRIDGE Publications

Gap Analysis of EU Counterterrorism Research Initiatives

Friedrich Steinhäusler, University of Salzburg



Some of the 27 Member States in the European Union (EU) had gained extensive experience individually in counterterrorism over decades in their fight against well organised groups. However, it required the terror attacks in the U.S. in 2001, in Madrid in 2004 and in London in 2005 to shape the EU's reaction and to initiate coordinated research activities in the 27 Member States. The current 7th EU Framework Programme (FP7) has allocated EUR1,350 million for Security for the period 2007 to 2013. The key FP7 activities relate to restoring safety and security in case of crisis. The paper provides an analysis of 17 major EU counterterrorism research projects and reviews the U.S. approach to security for comparison.


The following main gaps were identified in the implementation of the EU research initiatives: (1) diverse counterterrorism strategies between Member States; (2) insufficient consideration given to terrorism risk-assessment; (3) inadequate coordination/cooperation between EU funded civil security research and similar research activities by the European Defence Agency (EDA) and European Space Agency (ESA); (4) dominance of EU defence industry over SMEs, universities and R&D organisations; (5) cumbersome bureaucracy in administrating research projects.


Proceedings of the 45th Session of the International Seminars on Nuclear War and Planetary Emergencies,

Erice, Italy, 19-24 August 2012, R. Ragaini, ed. The Science and Culture Series,
ISBN 978-981-4531-77-1, World Scientific, 2013, pp 63-83



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