EU Commission proposes new initiatives to boost economic security

[Translate to Englisch:] EU-Initiativen zu wirtschaftlicher Sicherheit

On 24 January, the European Commission presented five proposals to strengthen Europe's competitiveness and economic security at a time of growing geopolitical tensions. Two of these are directly relevant to the R&I sector. The Commission launched a public consultation (deadline: 30 April 2024) on the promotion of dual-use technologies, which can have both civilian and military applications.

Three scenarios are being discussed:

  • Improving or developing the current legal situation, where Horizon Europe funds civilian research and the European Defence Fund (EDF) funds military research;
  • Removing the exclusive focus on civil research in selected areas/tenders of the next Research Framework Programme;
  • The development of a separate funding programme for dual-use technologies from 2028.    

At the same time, the Commission published a Communication on strengthening the security of research. The aim is a coordinated approach to ensure that the results of EU-funded R&I projects cannot be used against Europe's values and (security) interests. Universities are advised, for example, to scrutinise dubious grants from third countries. In addition, a European Centre of Expertise on Research Security will be established with funding from Horizon Europe to pool knowledge and experience on research security. The next step will be to discuss the proposals at the level of research ministers.

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