On 2 March 2023, a CERIS event brought together close to 100 policy makers, security practitioners, researchers and industry in Brussels. The aim of the workshop was to promote a Capability Driven Approach, to strengthen the forward-looking and early identification of needs and solutions in the field of internal security and law enforcement.
This event was carried out by DG HOME with the participation of Commission General-Directorates TAXUD, DEFIS and ECHO, and selected EU agencies (Europol, Frontex, European Defence Agency, Research Executive Agency). Director Marta Cygan opened the event which was organised as follow-up to the proposals presented in the Action Plan on Synergies (Action 1) on fostering a forward-looking approach in the civil security domain.
By looking at lessons learnt from defence and space, participants discussed how the European Border and Coast Guard and Member States’ customs control and law enforcement authorities can make more strategic use of their current and future capabilities, including equipment needs. By sharing research findings and comparing the progress made in the individual sectors, synergies and key building blocks across the different sectors as well as common best practices on capability development could be identified and discussed with researchers and European industry representatives.
A forward-looking capability driven approach in civil security will require more structured long-term planning, as already widely used in defence and aerospace and more recently also in European integrated border management. Several of its elements, such as foresight, synergies between funding instruments or demand-supply dialogue are already part of existing frameworks for law enforcement, customs or civil protection, but not in a structured manner.
Participants agreed on some key takeaways, such as the need for a common taxonomy, definition of strategic and operational requirements, needs and functions to better map the EU investment; a better synchronisation between key programmes and better alignment of research with implementation (e.g. HE and ISF), but also a structured forum fostering dialogue between various stakeholders.
They also agreed that a Capability Driven Approach requires a political, legal and organisational alignment, to identify who is the owner of the process, and a roadmap on development and procurement of technologies at national and EU level with common procedures and common methodology.
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