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JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS : HIGH LEVEL FORUM TO HELP GUIDE SECURITY RESEARCH EFFORTS.

A new forum created by the European Commission to promote cooperation in the field of security research held its first meeting on 11 September.

The body, named the European Security Research and Innovation Forum (ESRIF), is envisaged by the Commission as a tool to bring together stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. It is planned that its membership, once fully developed, will include representatives of industry, research establishments, public and private end-users of new security technologies (such as national security forces and infrastructure operators), civil society organisations and the EU institutions. It is planned that the forum will eventually have around 50-70 members, although its work will be assisted by other outside contributors.

Speaking at a press conference to launch the initiative, Enterprise Commissioner Gunter Verheugen stressed the importance that "researchers and operational people can work together". He outlined two main goals for ESRIF. The first is that it will help those involved in the development of new security technologies better understand the challenges and problems faced by member state authorities, as well as others involved in the fight against terrorism. The other is that it will provide an opportunity to discuss ethical questions linked to the development of these new technologies, notably as regards privacy. According to Verheugen, "we have to be quite clear what the acceptable boundaries are".

ESRIF will follow up its discussions by drawing up a "strategic security research and innovation agenda," to be presented in 2009. aThis will set out the forum's view regarding the EU's future security needs and priorities.

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Publication:European Report
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Sep 12, 2007
Words:258
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