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Security and crisis management policies are closely related to research and industrial policies in the EU. Standardization can play a major supporting role in these policies: it ensures uniform quality, promotes interoperability, overcomes market fragmentation and can achieve economies of scale.

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“At DG Home, we have been actively pursuing initiatives supporting standardization since 2013.”

Philippe Quevauviller, 

European Commission Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs


Philippe Quevauviller is a Research Programming and Policy Officer at the European Commission Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME). He describes the specific areas that may benefit from standardization in the security sector: “critical infrastructures, disaster risk management, cybersecurity, border security, border surveillance and forensics.”

Standardized approaches in these different areas depend on a number of factors. These include the involvement of the stakeholders (practitioners and industry sectors), the technical requirements (tools and methods) and sector-specific requirements.


Currently, the European Commission is involved in a number of standardization and certification initiatives. “This happens either through mandates given to the European standards organizations, through the introduction of standards in regulations, or by supporting research,” Quevauviller clarifies.

“At DG Home, we have been actively pursuing standardization since 2013, when we addressed a mandate to CEN, CENELEC and ETSI (the European standardization organizations), asking for recommendations about security standards and related research needs. After some internal consultations with other policy DGs, this led to the launch of standardization research activities from 2014 onward. These research activities focus specifically in the CBRNe area - Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and explosives.”


Among these activities are pre-normative (research) actions in the areas of chemical and biological risks to drinking water, radio-nuclear threats, and/or detection of explosives, undertaken by the JRC European Reference Network for Critical Infrastructure Protection (ERNCIP).


Other examples are research projects like CRISP, HECTOS, and ResiStand, a  Horizon2020 project which addressed research needs for standardization in the area of crisis management and disaster resilience capabilities. Under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7), the projects CRISP and HECTOS focused on installed security systems and innovative physical security products. Finally, DG HOME also launched a call for a coordination mechanism for security and crisis management-related standardization activities, which became the currently running Stair4Security project.


Last but not least, DG HOME initiated the Community of Users on Secure, Safe and Resilient Societies (CoU), an information exchange platform that provides users a greater visibility of policies, projects, and research. “Standardization has become a central theme in the Community of Users,” Quevauviller explains, “with several workshops that took place in the past 3 years. The challenge now is to ensure a more effective networking capability within Europe’s research and standardization communities. We want to encourage a stronger involvement of practitioners and policy-makers. While DG HOME may be an effective player in such networking development, the coordination has to rely on standardization experts from research, industry, practitioners, and policy-making sectors.”


According to Quevauviller, the current increase of formal and research-related standardization is actually leading to the fragmentation of initiatives in the security sector. “This is why we need enhanced coordination of standardization-related actions, including increased cooperation from the relevant actors, such as the European standards organizations, the Policy Directorate Generals, Member States Committees and practitioners.”

“We need enhanced coordination of standardization-related actions, including increased cooperation from the relevant actors.”

Philippe Quevauviller, 

European Commission Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs


Coordinating this can hardly be done by one single entity, Quevauviller acknowledges. “Hence the need for an agreed mechanism among these different players, which will enable relationship building and regular interactions at policy, research, industry and practitioner’s levels in the larger framework constituted by the Community of Users. This is what we will be considering in the next Framework Programme, Horizon Europe.”

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