Public Private Dialogue in Security Research

20-05-2008

The concept of security only recently erupted onto the European research agenda, with the launch of the European Security Strategy (2003) and the subsequent push for a common European Security Research Programme. The notion of public-private dialogue precedes the notion of security in European research thinking, foreshadowing the development of the public-private nexus as a central concept in European security research. With the Communication to the European Parliament and the Council on Public-Private Dialogue in Security Research and Innovation (COM(2007)511), and the creation of the European Security Research and Innovation Forum (ESRIF), the European Commission sets out an understanding of security that will guide the notion of public-private dialogue within the European security research agenda in the future. The primacy of technology and technologybased research promotes a prophylactic understanding of security which, in our view, represents a fundamental misalignment of the fundamental concepts of security. A reflected oversight of the consequences of security technologies, of the kind enhanced by the proposed public-private dialogue, remains absent. The danger for European security is the decision to put all of Europe’s chips into the pot of technology and technological research. By doing so, both European research and the European private sector will become increasingly alienated from the core of security and insecurity in Europe: the experiences of real people who see themselves under threat and of real people who threaten Europeans.

The concept of security only recently erupted onto the European research agenda, with the launch of the European Security Strategy (2003) and the subsequent push for a common European Security Research Programme. The notion of public-private dialogue precedes the notion of security in European research thinking, foreshadowing the development of the public-private nexus as a central concept in European security research. With the Communication to the European Parliament and the Council on Public-Private Dialogue in Security Research and Innovation (COM(2007)511), and the creation of the European Security Research and Innovation Forum (ESRIF), the European Commission sets out an understanding of security that will guide the notion of public-private dialogue within the European security research agenda in the future. The primacy of technology and technologybased research promotes a prophylactic understanding of security which, in our view, represents a fundamental misalignment of the fundamental concepts of security. A reflected oversight of the consequences of security technologies, of the kind enhanced by the proposed public-private dialogue, remains absent. The danger for European security is the decision to put all of Europe’s chips into the pot of technology and technological research. By doing so, both European research and the European private sector will become increasingly alienated from the core of security and insecurity in Europe: the experiences of real people who see themselves under threat and of real people who threaten Europeans.