SecurePART – Executive summary of the project’s final report

The SecurePART – Increasing the engagement of Civil Society Organisaitons (CSO) in Security Research has a duration of 24 months and started in May 2014. The consortium is made up of 7 partners from 5 different countries: Spain, Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom and Portugal. The consortium, led by Bantec (SP) has the following partners: vdLconsult (DE); ENNA (BE); nexus institute (DE); Goethe
University (DE); University of Salford (UK); LOBA (PT).

This SecurePART team is made up by independent, specialized social research centres and consultancies (specialised in policy analysis, citizen engagement and social marketing) ensuring a neutral approach. Extensive interaction with CSOs was ensured by the EU Network of CSOs (ENNA) that facilitated large consultations with their representatives and the multiplying effect of communication and dissemination actions planned.
The project was organised into seven individual work packages, out of which five are related to
supporting activities, one related to dissemination activities and one related to management.

Project activities included: Analysis and Studies; Reviews on other non-security research who have
a similar problem of acceptance by the society ; Societal & CSO analyses; Development of
communication plan about potential benefits of security research activities; Strategy for increasing
CSO participation & Action plan.

The project also included the constitution and management Stakeholders Board with the following
distinguished members:

  • Tom Sorell
  • Ineke Malsh
  • Dr. Walter Peissl
  • Dr Henk Mulder
  • Christian Sommade
  • Hugo Rosemont
  • Ulrich Dünnes
  • Mirko Schwärzel
  • Hendrik Keersmaekers
  • Sadhbh McCarthy


Work performed and the main results achieved

Analyse the content and status of FP7 security research projects

What have we researched and what do we know about CSO involvement in Security Research?

CSOs have often multiple personalities due to the different roles they are called to perform under
varying circumstances, whenever they interact with other stakeholders. This also applies to their
engagement in European security research. CSOs have dramatically grown in number and have
evolved out of their classical role by transforming themselves, as societal challenges and political
contexts of action have changed in the past couple of years. Most generic, “fuzzy” definitions of
CSOs, used by public policy actors nowadays, are inclusive, yet they do not help discern “real”,
public-interest CSOs from organizations and associations with a particularistic, for-profit agenda.
Narrow definitions, on the other hand, may be better at the operative policy level, when it comes
to selecting relevant CSOs for consultations, project funding, etc., but they create many deviations
from the rule, and a lot of exclusion of organizations which do not completely correspond to the
ideal core.

Size and resources of CSOs

Most of the selected CSOs for the study are small or even very small (micro), as regards number of
employees and budget. CSOs with more than 100 employees and 5M€ are a minority in Europe.
Most of the CSOs that are involved in security research are medium or large organizations with
branches at international, European, national and also at regional or local level. This is why;
depending on the focus of activity or project where they are working, they can involve any of the
following specific levels.
CSOs do not have sufficient resources to be committed to activities that are outside of the main
aim of the organization. Only large CSOs, with an international or European focus, have enough
resources or specific units devoted to research activities. But there are exceptions, as there are a
few very small and small CSOs with European activity focused on research.

Interest of CSOs in security research

Interests of CSOs: they are strongly related to ethical and societal dimensions of security research.
Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-threats for CSO engagement in security research: the
analysis of CSOs with regard to the security research landscape has shown that CSOs’ strengths are
their “hands-on” style and their understanding of societal and practical issues “on the ground”. In
the security Science & Technology context, this endows CSOs with the capacity to be trusted
“brokers” and “facilitators”, with the potential to raise trust among researchers, society, and
public policy makers. Therefore, their input can be invaluable in bridging security R&D with
societal needs and ethical concerns of citizens. This untapped potential can under certain
circumstances open windows for them to participate, and also help disseminate and increase the
value of research results, potentially enhancing their uptake. However, if they are not willing or
lack the resources to participate in dialogue with other stakeholders, or find common
denominators in their agenda and that of security research, then their relevance for the ESRP and
their capacity to make a useful contribution will probably decline.

Where CSOs would like to be involved

The project has detected a wide spectrum of fields and technologies where CSOs might be
involved: First ‘individual civil rights’ followed by ‘minority’s rights’, ‘privacy’, ‘environmental risks’,
‘cybersecurity’ or ‘health risks’. In line with the security research fields most interesting to CSOs,
crisis management is by large, the most important, followed by infrastructure protection, counterterror,
physical protection and borders.

When an how the involvement of CSOs in security research took place

The analysis has allowed us to understand the scope and involvement of CSOs in security research
during the last 6 years and the periodicity or frequency of their activity in this matter. 54% of the
activities in security research where CSOs that had a European background, 22% of them were at a
national level, 20% at an international level, and 4% at a regional or local level. We have concluded
that 69% of CSOs had direct involvement in this activity and 31% had an indirect relationship with

The more usual roles played by CSOs

They are, by order or frequency: observer, actor of research, disseminator of research results,
influencer. Also, a small percentage have worked as users of the research, project evaluators,
program evaluator or commissioner of research.

Internal and external barriers faced by CSOs

Internal barriers have been identified from the analysis: CSOs have more difficulty to be involved
in security research according to – by order – staff structure or size of the CSO, CSOs mandates or
priorities, inappropriate staff skills, poor involvement of the members and other collaborators and
inappropriate plan of the activities to generate interest.
On the institutional side, the rather low compatibility between CSOs’ agendas and missions results
in mutual ignorance and lack of interest. While the ESRP and its research calls have a dominant
high-tech industrial character, aimed to strengthen the marketing of security technologies, most
CSOs care about issues of civil and minority rights. Such agendas could, however, become more
compatible in the future.


Reviews on other non-security research who have a similar problem of acceptance by the

Analyse best practice not only in the Security Sector but also in other sectors that has a similar
problem of acceptance by the society, like the Chemical technology industry, and more actual the
Nano-technology or Genetic-technology.
Controversial technologies have one feature in common they lack transparency vis-á-vis the
civil society. This contributes considerably to the rejection of critical technologies. In order to
improve this, it needs tools/methods to make technologies tranparent and:

  • to make them understandable
  • to demonstrate their function
  • to demonstrate their benefits
  • to prepare their utilisation.

By implementing these tools feedback is received from the civil society regarding their demands.
For the objective of SecurePART to increase the CSO participation in security research the
proposed tools and methods are a complementary approach to empowering the CSOs. The
proposed tools and methods have the potential to be a key element to support the objective
“Strengthen transparency, fairness, and accountability”.

It is therefore recommended to make the tools:

  • Consensus Conferences
  • Demonstration Projects
  • Participatory Technology Assessment
  • Public Days

an integrated part of the strategy for increasing CSO participation in security research.


Societal & CSO analyses

According to the European Commission, civil society encompasses trade unions and employers’ organisations (“social partners”), non-governmental organisations, professional associations, charities, grass-roots organisations, and organisations that involve citizens in local and municipal life, including churches and religious communities. These are supposed to lend a voice to the needs of all citizens, and provide a communication channel for them to policy makers. Civil Society Organisations are broadly defined as:
“… all non-state, not-for-profit structures, non-partisan and nonviolent, through which people organise to pursue shared objectives and ideals, whether political, cultural, social or economic.” (European Commission (2012), The Roots of Democracy and Sustainable Development. Europe’s Engagement with Civil Society in External Relations, Brussels, 12/9/2012. COM(2012) 492 final)
A preliminary analysis of the CORDIS database conducted by SecurePART helped discern the following categories of CSOs, many of which are practitioners of security provision:

  • Medical disaster first aid/relief associations;
  • Emergency Services (Fire brigades & rescue services;
  • Transport associations & passenger rights NGOs;
  • Community & neighbourhood integration associations;
  • Human/civil rights associations;
  • ICT/cyber liberties & data protection organisations;
  • Climate change and environmental organizations;
  • Development cooperation organizations;
  • Think Tanks & foundations;
  • Science dissemination organisations

Many of the above categories contain hybrid organisations, which are on the border between public administration, research organisations, or small enterprises. Yet a major challenge is the lack of a clear, jointly shared and legally binding definition of what is a CSO.
CSOs are under-represented within EU security research projects. The SecurePART coding in the CORDIS database resulted in an approximate percentage of 4% of CSOs out of ca. 2,000 total beneficiaries. However, the ex-post evaluation of FP7 Security theme (2015) did not differentiate among CSOs and other organisations, and CSOs necessarily fell into the category “Other”, accounting for around 3% of total participations.
CSOs have already undertaken a number of roles within security research with different intensity in terms of format, and different goals, while they still aspire to undertake roles with more influence:

  1. Observers: CSOs get information on H2020 programme at info days, project and policy conferences;
  2. Advisors: CSOs are invited to become members in external advisory boards during the project implementation phase;
  3. Actors of research: CSOs participate in research as members of a project consortium, often as disseminators raising awareness to key target groups:
  4. Project evaluators & reviewers: CSOs are invited by the EC services as external experts to conduct evaluations and reviews;
  5. SR agenda consultants: CSOs are consulted during the drafting of the future SR programme agenda;
  6. Commissioners of research: CSOs formulate research calls with a strong SR relevance


Since the launch of the Lisbon Treaty societal engagement in policy making in general, and in S&T research is pursued by the EU for both for democratic reasons, and for instrumental reasons – engagement improves the research results and the relevance of policies by including societal knowledge, ideas and capacities in research and increasing the knowledge base for policy making. In contentious and sensitive research fields, such as that of security, compliance with the Treaty of Fundamental Rights is essential. -ree funding lines have been identified, which provide access to CSOs to research funding in the FP7/Horizon 2020 programmes: Priority III “Societal challenges”, which includes seven thematic priorities, one of them being the Work Programme “Secure societies”, as well as one of its two specific objectives, the objective V “Science with and for Society”. A general dedicated funding scheme “Research for the Benefit of Specific Groups – Civil Society Organisations” (BSG-CSO) had been also introduced in FP7. -ere have been many indications for optimism about the degree and the breadth of engagement of CSOs in most areas, something which applies only partially to the ESRP. CSOs are mostly invited for their expertise on the ground, and for their role as brokers and disseminators of results, but less as active influencers, designers, or implementers of the (security) research agenda.



Based upon surveys and data evaluations, stakeholder categories and types, such as social and human scientists, security industry actors/technology developers, end-users, security policy makers, and civil society representatives have been distinguished for analytical reasons as distinct types of actors. -e study of their “master frames”, interests, goals and concerns with security research revealed some common ground, but also a lot of divergence and some deep cleavages. Most interesting thereby is the broad and fuzzy category of end-users, which often comprises CSOs, public authorities, and private companies of security provision. -at notwithstanding, there is a huge discrepancy between CSO and other stakeholders’ participation in security research project consortia, which amounts to less than 5%. -e examination of the role of CSOs within consultation forums and ad-hoc expert groups has shown very limited presence, and a similar picture results out of the comparison of stakeholders with regard to the resources received from the ESRP. -is analysis provided the background for a multi-stakeholder power/interest matrix, which attempted to position CSOs in relation with other stakeholders with regard to their influence on the ESRP. While RTOs and big security industry along SMEs have been the strongest profit and leverage with the security programme, public authorities and universities seem to be left behind, while CSOs play a negligible role, also in the cloak of end-users. -is matrix provided a first mapping of CSOs in relation to other key players within the ESRP research environment, which will help at identifying institutional barriers, but also opportunity windows for CSOs, and contribute to strengthening, upstreaming, and streamlining their engagement in security research for mutual benefit.



In a series of interviews, online surveys, and an interactive CSO-Stakeholder workshop, SecurePART found out that:
There are CSOs that appear to have an explicit interest in security research and have participated/can participate in research actions. However, more than one third of the interviewed CSOs do not readily recognize much relevance of security research to their activities—at least not at first sight—and therefore do not participate. There is also a considerable proportion among the interviewed CSOs which have an explicit interest in security research, but lack access to research actions. This highlights target groups of CSOs for security research offering an untapped potential. Those that do not yet recognise the relevance of SR could be sensitized and mobilized to participate in future research actions for mutual benefit; Those already willing to participate need better access opportunities.

CSO representatives, from a diverse range of backgrounds, stated that their motivation to participate in EU security research is linked with their activities on the ground, also linked to political, social, and ethical concerns of the citizens.

In general, CSOs are confronted with a series of internal and external barriers when it comes to the European Security Research Programme. CSOs face the challenge of being informed and being visible to other security research actors, link their organisation’s mandates with the concrete security research topics, and, not least, employ the appropriate staff to conduct research. What is more, many CSOs seem to be alienated by the predominantly technological focus of the ESRP, as well as deterred by administrative hurdles, and by the poor relationships with other security research actors. Unfortunately, there is a lack of CSO networks in security-relevant fields to promote their agendas at EU level.

At the same time, it is not easy for research administrators at the European Commission to recognise advantages and benefits of CSO engagement in security research actions. The situation may be exacerbated by a tendency amongst project co-ordinators and partners (such as research and technology organisations, universities, or industry including SMEs) to not include CSOs in their activities, or simply assign them dissemination roles or less-substantial tasks.

A frequent point of resistance toward wide (CSO) participation from the side of industrial developers and commercial service providers is confidentiality about security research outputs fearing about patents and comparative market advantages.


Increase the engagement of CSOs in security research

Development of communication plan about potential benefits of security research activities

Main results achieved

Organize several international events with participants coming from all the sectors / categories of stakeholders involved or possibly interested in ESRP. (the detailed communication actions are presented in Deliverable 4.4; all the events attended by the partners are in Deliverables 6.4 and 6.5)

Engage and bring forward, through ENNA, but also through the network of its members and partners, various CSOs on the entire period of the project (participants to the interview phase recommended the project to other colleagues / collaborators which, at a later stage, got involved in the events organized by the consortium).

Realize and promote different materials and communication messages addressed to a diverse public (CSOs, Security Research project coordinators, wide public).

Future strategy & action plan

Main results achieved:

SecurePART Action Plan for strengthening the links between civil society organizations and security reseach

A set of 4 videos with recommendations for CSO, Project Coordinators, NCPs and European Commission

Recommendation on permanent institutional set-ups for CSO engagement in Security Research
This study has examined existing set ups in EU for Security Research and institutional and organizational possibilities outside Security Research field, which could be imported to Security Research as reference of CSO involvement. In this regard the study has analysed the Mobilization and Mutual Learning EU projects (precedent and ongoing projects).
It was expected that this study will help on the identification of potential existing set ups as reference models; will Identify formats that are most promising for establishing mutual exchange with CSOs in the context of security research is because of that we analysed MML (Mobilization and Mutual Learning EU projects); and will give us the possibility to suggest tentative key points to be considered when design a platform in SR.

The main aims of the study were to identify existing Multi stakeholder Exchange platforms in EU involving CSO and determinate how permanent and influence they are. Examined institutional and organizational possibilities outside for SR to identify transferable “good practices” which could be imported to Security Research as models of CSO involvement process. And finally suggest key aspects to guarantee involvement of CSO in this kind of Multi stakeholder Exchange Platforms.
More information: D5.3 – Recommendation on permanent institutional set-ups for CSO engagement in Security Research (


This post is a summary of the Executive summary of the project’s final report. The complete version can be found at

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EU-funded research project in support to the fight against counterfeit medicines

The fight against counterfeit medical products on the web is the result of a mix of traditional and modern methods of investigation. The EU-funded CONPHIRMER project has developed a scanner to detect the fingerprints on the illegal goods sold on the darknet.counterfeit medicinesThe EU Commission funded a research project to scan the fingerprints left by the criminals on the counterfeit medicines sold on the dark net.

The online illegal market of counterfeit medicines is worldwide growing threat. Over 950 suspected SSFFC (Substandard, Spurious, Falsely labelled, Falsified and Counterfeit) medical products have been reported on the list of the World Health Organization (WHO) as of December 2015. Even vaccines and diagnoses have been reported. On the one hand, they hurt the patient’s health. On the other hand, they undermine the trust of the victims in medical products, healthcare professionals and health system.

SSFFC products are by nature difficult to identify as they most of the time appear identical to the genuine product. The fight against SSFFC on the web is consequently becoming a new challenge for law enforcement agencies.

Modern IT technologies allow now investigators to monitor, scrap and analyze unregulated e-shops. It leads to the birth of a new generation of police officers who are able to mix old fashion investigation techniques with up-to-date ones.

These investigators generally examine the packaging, the spelling mistakes on it, the expiry dates. They also ensure the product looks correct and it is not discolored or degraded. Unlicensed websites do not always display a physical address and a landline. And the prices offered are most of the time well lower than in the regulated industry.

Still no efficient investigative method

Despite these evidence tips, it still remains often hard to detect counterfeited medicines on the web. As a result, the WHO is working with the industry and law enforcement to minimize the risks from SSFFC products. The WHO collect data and transfer knowledge and good practices to countries.

These solutions are unfortunately well far from being enough to seriously tackle this underground trafficking. “It’s like an iceberg”, said Dr Jamie Barras, a research fellow from King’s College London in February in Horizon, the EU Research & Innvovation Magazine. “The visible part of the problem is the drugs that are detected, which can run into the millions of pills every year, but what we can’t see are the drugs that go undetected.”

This unresolved problem is linked to the anonymity of the people browsing on the dark web. It includes unsearchable web pages by the current search engines. Anybody can buy there everything he wants for cheap and without any prescription. The good is then delivered by post mail. It constitutes therefore a challenge for the investigators in charge of this kind of trafficking.

Fingerprints at all the levels of the supply-chain

However, the good old investigative methods are often the best. “Drugs often go through several hands before they reach the consumer; this could be years after they are manufactured”, recalled Dr Jamie Barras. This little detail might finally help law enforcement officers in their investigations as few people handle the products and leave fingerprint on them.

That is the reason why the EU-funded CONPHIRMER consortium developed a handheld scanner to detect counterfeit medical products. It uses radio waves to detect digital fingerprint on the packages of suspicious goods in customs or post offices.

Selling counterfeit medicines on the dark web needs a very efficient supply-chain. They are normally managed by organized crime organizations in India or China. Their productions are exported through the whole world by other criminal organizations. These goods are consequently manipulated, repackaged and resold. Which leaves fingerprints on the illegal products.

The CONPHIRMER consortium gathers several members coming from European academia, national customs and companies. They beneficiate from the EU FP7.

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How important are universities in Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 can increase the collaboration of different European universities in transnational research projects. On the one hand, it needs the development of international networking platform. On the other hand, universities should set up dedicated taskforces to EU research projects.

Horizon 2020 universities
Horizon 2020 constitutes an opportunity for more transnational university projects in Europe.
Photo: Steve Cadman

As the main EU research and innovation funding program, Horizon 2020 constitutes a wide range of opportunities for European universities. This 70 billion euros scheme is running from 2014 to 2010. In this respect, the Bavarian research Alliance (BayFor) hosted the international conference “Mobilizing universities of applied sciences for Horizon 2020”, on the 4th of February in Brussels.

This event organized in cooperation with the European Commission gathered more than 150 participants from twenty European countries. It stressed the accent on the importance for academia to carry transnational research projects and the added value of networking with other researchers from other countries.

Networking for transnational research projects

Although many universities are already well used to collaborate with partners in other countries, it appears it is not always the case for many technical colleges and universities. “Their chances of obtaining EU funds for transnational projects are very good,” said Martin Reichel, CEO of the Bavarian Research Alliance. In this regard, it should be reminded that Horizon 2020 attaches more importance to practical application in the field of research than its predecessor, the Seventh Framework Program (FP7).

Networking remains the key factor for academic researchers to develop together international research and innovation projects. It can help them to identify which universities in other EU member State have a similar research pedigree. Conferences such as the one recently organized by BayFor in Brussels gives them the opportunity to present their expertise and specific project insights.

The UCL’s success story in Horizon 2020

The University College London (UCL) illustrates the opportunity Horizon 2020 is for academia. The UCL was appointed as the most performing university in the first year of the EU funding scheme Horizon 2020, according to an analysis by Research Professional. The British university secured a total of 73.2 million euros over projects. In its portfolio of successful projects, the UCL developed for instance a way to reduce congestion in Europe or studied the environmental impact from the exploration and exploitation of shale gas in Europe.

The UCL’s success is mainly based on the role played by an expert in European research matters, Michael Browne the British university enrolled. He acts as an interface between the UCL and the European Commission, national organizations and the UK government, explained the magazine Horizon 2020 Projects in its last January issue.

As a result, the UCL set up the European Research and innovation Office (ERIO) in December 2013. This office launched a proposal writing service in the wake of 2014.  It is unique in the European research organizations. “Many universities offer support at the costing or post-award stage; UCL begins right at the initial concept stage and continues through the project’s closure”, said Michael Browne.

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Funding research projects on migration for a better crisis management

Migration research
EU-funded research projects can help to anticipate the migrant crisis.
Photo: Nicola Romagna

Migration has become an increasing issue for the stability of Europe, which is likely dominating the nowadays and future policy agendas. Financing targeted research projects on migration can help to anticipate the flows of migrants and to better manage the crisis.

Research have a role to play in the migration challenge Europe has been facing for months. In this respect, the DG for Research and Innovation organized a two-day conference on the 4th to the 5th of February 2016 in Brussels. It explored how European-funded research projects in the civil society can help policy makers in their work to design sustainable migration policies.

The conference adopted a crosscutting approach, featuring findings from social sciences and economic research alongside health care needs for migrants and the link with climate change. This lead to the necessity to identify nowadays the future research needs in that fields, as well on short and long term.

That is why the European Commission intends to hear the feedbacks from the CSO’s acting on the ground. The conference gathered for instance researchers in the field of migration, several coordinators from EU-funded research projects and national policy makers.

Identification of trends

It was discussed how research could have help to anticipate the current migration crisis. Are we able to foresee the flows of migrants? If so, could have been the crisis better managed.

As a result, it is now urgent to study the future migration trends and to decide what are the short, medium and long term research needs in the migration field. In the light of the researches carried among the civil society, the EU and its member States might be able to get a better picture of the whole migration crisis. In this regard, it becomes their role to accommodate the needs of research about migration.

A long term vision through research

The European Commission has therefore supported tens of research projects and actions on migration. For example, the Cascade project conducts a comprehensive analysis of the connections between security and democracy in the Caucasus. Funded by the European Commission with 2.488.450 € from 2014 to 2017, it supports the EU’s external policies in the region.

Migration is becoming more and more a crucial issue for Europe, which is progressively dominating the policy agendas. On the one hand, the recent inflows of asylum seekers have forced policymakers to manage this emergency.  On the other hand, a long term and coordinated response is needed for a better integration of the migrants. This is the reason why research on migration constitutes a part of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7). Socioeconomic sciences are consequently expected to provide a long term European vision based on reliable and comparable data.

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State-of-the-art Civil Society Organization (CSO) participation in the European Security Research Programme (ESRP)

By Frank Balzer, Christoph Henseler – nexus – Institute for Cooperation Management and interdisciplinary Research

The data: sources and method

To gain an overview of all participants in the ESRP during the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), we have created a new database containing all ESRP participants during that time. The data was obtained from the open-data repository of the European Union (EU), and includes all ESRP projects which commenced between 2007 and 2013. [1]

The data set made use of all information available on the EU´s Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) website[2]. It was compiled and analysed manually by all SecurePART partners in an xls/csv format. Therefore our data also had the shortcomings that are visible on the website, such as incomplete partner information, missing website links and misleading information on contacts.

From this data a subset containing all projects in the ESRP during the FP7 period has been derived, and the columns containing the coordinator’s names and the participant’s names were extracted.[3] The resulting two data sets (coordinators, participants) have been processed and transformed into a tabular format once more usable in Excel.

Duplicates have been removed from these two lists. Finally we ended up with a total number of 1935 participants in the ESRP during the FP7 period. For the further mapping process only the participants list was used.

The overall method used for the mapping-process was a process of elimination. The first step in mapping involved a semi-automated approach. First of all, obvious companies (by filtering for “SARL”, “GmbH”, “LTD”, “NV”, “SPA”, “SAS”, “AB”, “AS”, “AG”, “BV” etc.) and Universities (by filtering for “Univers”) were removed. After this rough categorization, all left over participants were encoded by hand: based on their names and through online investigation for additional information.

Once this database was built, each SecurePART[4] project partner was responsible to complete specific mapping in order to seek CSOs country-wide. [5] A great difficulty during this part of data-production was the operationalization of the term “CSO”. As declared in D1.1 of the SecurePART project, we have orientated our operationalization of “CSO” on different existing definitions. We have used the definitions in a most meaningful way, depending on each context. It became clear that the definitions to use also very much depend on our research objective. As a matter of fact, it would have not been reasonable to count all organizations with the legal status of a registered association as CSOs. Some of them belong to the public sector or private enterprises at the same time, therefore could still fit as a CSO (because of their legal status), but wouldn’t be useful for our research, as we are looking for CSOs as representatives of civil society. As a result of this process, it was not always 100% clear finding the border between CSO and non-CSO. This border very much depended on the different contexts, e.g. differences in the country’s policies of their legal status and also our own research objective. It was necessary to have a “buffer-term” for those cases. Already at an early stage it was clear that we have either apparent cases of CSOs (e.g. from the classical Non Governmental Organization (NGO) and Non Profit Organization (NPO) sector), or cases of CSOs in a broader sense (e.g. organizations with the legal status of a registered association, working as a NPO, but at the same time working as secondary education institutes).[6] The weak point of this method is patently the objectivity of the obtained data, as each “mapping-partner” had a specific understanding and comprehension of the used definitions. The two groups we’ve found were:

  1. Apparent cases of CSOs: 70 cases
  2. CSOs in a broader sense: 73 cases

This part of the mapping was completed by all project partners (in different shares). Later, a review session of the cases we’ve found led to a new classification of the different CSOs, and some deletions. We classified the CSOs in: core CSOs, hybrid CSOs and undefined CSOs. [7] In the end we perceived the following picture of participants and CSOs in the ESRP during the FP7 period:

  1. Core CSOs: 39
  2. Hybrid CSOs: 26
  3. Undefined CSOs: 28
  4. Other participants: 1842


Overview on CSO involvement in European Security Research during FP7

After mapping all 53 countries with participants in the ESRP, we have found all of the 28 EU-member states, plus 25 non-EU-member states engaged in the ESRP during FP7. A total number of 95,2% of all participants in the ESRP during the FP7 period were not CSOs. Core CSOs made up for 2%, hybrid CSOs 1,3%, and undefined CSOs made up 1,5% of all participants.[8]

Geographical contribution

More than half (55%) of all countries engaged in the ESRP during FP7 had no CSOs at all amongst their participants. Countries from eastern- and south-eastern European regions especially often had many less or no CSOs participating.


Scope of ESRP participation during FP7:

24 of the 53 participating countries were “very small players” in the ESRP. Those countries had only 10 or less participants in total in the ESRP. We have found only one CSO participating the FP7 period within the “very small players” countries’ participants, which is far below the average CSO participation rate of 4,8%.

This first insight made clear, that there are differences between the respective balance of participants in different regions and countries engaged in the ESRP; plus differences depending on the generally limited extent of ESRP participation of specific countries.

The following map shows four different clusters of countries with participants in the ESRP funded under the European Unions’ Seventh Framework Programme. The clusters are arranged in order of the rate of CSOs amongst the participant countries:



Table 1: Map of Europe with CSO participation rate in FP7-SEC


The green cluster is the smallest cluster. It has the highest participation rate (10%, or more) of CSOs amongst their participants in the ESRP. Except Belgium, there are only “small players” and one “very small player” within this cluster: Bulgaria, Denmark, Luxembourg, Tunisia and Turkey.


Table 2: Countries with more than 10% of CSOs amongst their participants


The yellow cluster, with an average of 7,9% of CSOs amongst their ESRP participants per country, has the second highest CSO participant rate. The countries in this cluster are Austria, France, Hungary, Israel and the Netherlands. The total number of participants in this cluster is 407 out of 1935. Therefore it is the second biggest cluster in terms of total participants.


Table 3: Countries with 5-10% of CSOs amongst their participants


The orange cluster is the largest cluster in terms of participants. 898 out of 1935 participants in the ESRP during FP7 belong to the 9 countries of this cluster. These countries are: Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Spain, Finland, Italy Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. This high rate of participants comes from the “big players” Germany, Spain, Italy and Great Britain, which provide together 702 of the 898 participants in this cluster.[9] Besides these “big players”, we find the Scandinavian countries (except Denmark), Greece and Switzerland in this cluster. The average percentage of participating CSOs within the ESRP participants is, at 2,9%, lower than the overall average percentage of 4,8% of our sample.


Table 4: Countries with 1-5% of CSOs amongst their participants

Within the red cluster are all countries with no CSO participating in FP7 Security research at all. These countries are: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Cyprus, Czech-Republic, Algeria, Estonia, Egypt, Croatia, Ireland, India, Iceland, Jordan, Japan, Lithuania, Latvia, Morocco, Moldavia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Malta, Poland, Palestine, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Taiwan, Ukraine, United States and South Africa. From the EU 28 states, almost all states – with the exception of Ireland and Portugal – in this cluster are located in eastern- and south-eastern Europe.[10] It is important to say that even though this cluster consists of 33 out of 53 countries, it still makes up only a small quantity of participants in FP7 Security research. Exceptions are again Poland with 62 and Portugal with 42 participants. In total this country-cluster with no CSO participation is compiled of 334 of 1935 participants in FP7 Security research.


Exemplary Country Profiles

The four clusters found and explained in Chapter 1 are sorted by countries and depend on the rate of participating CSOs within all of their participants.

Three countries have been selected for further analysis to illustrate the different clusters through examples.[11] The analysis is based on country reports from the Bertelsmann Stiftung and Freedom House,[12] as well as on the interviews conducted for the SecurePART project and the results of present database mapping.



Poland had 62 participants in FP7 Security research. None of them were rated as CSOs. Public institutions compile the biggest sector of Polish participants, which differs strongly from the other country profiles below.

To explain this deviation, it is important to have a look at political-historical development in the more recent history of Poland. As part of the Solidarnosc movement, the intensive fight for democratic rights from 1980 onwards led to the foundation of the democratic state of Poland in 1989. It was the first free democracy within the Eastern Bloc. Today the “[…] level of organized social and political participation remains moderate in Poland compared to Western Europe, despite the revolutionary past of the underground movement. In addition, many people feel alienated from politics, […] at least on the local level, people feel they can exert an influence on politics and that their civic engagement makes a difference.”[13] We found our only interview-partner from Poland with the same attitude, representing the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR) in Warsaw, which is a CSO active in FP7, but not in the security sector. The interviewee expressed HFHR as passive in FP7, but more active at a national level.

Political corruption is still an issue and is responsible for a large deficit in the quality of democracy in Poland, which seems to also negatively affect the participation rate of CSOs. There is a web of over 83,000 autonomous, self-organized non-governmental organizations in Poland, but only 60% of them are active. Thus, civil society is developed but social capital is comparatively weak, and a rather high level of mistrust toward the political class is expressed.“[14]

Why do we find so many CSOs inactive in Poland? During the time that Poland was applying to become an EU-member-state (1989-2004), civil rights were implemented quite well, and organized networks in non-institutionalized civil society could operate more effectively in Poland. But as the operational fields of CSOs in Poland were developing very fast within that time, only a few organizations became key partners and influential in certain issues.[15] Trade Unions, charity organizations, sport associations and religious groups are the most popular CSOs in Poland. Research and Technology Organizations (RTOs) and State institutions for education and Research & Development (R&D) became very advanced in Poland at the same time. This can also be found in our mapping of the 62 participants in FP7-SEC from Poland, including 15 RTOs and 18 state institutions plus 18 universities. In addition, another interviewee from the UK pointed out that there is a lack of support for CSOs from government bodies in Eastern Europe, while funding from central Europe is extremely important for such CSOs.



In Belgium we found the highest rate of CSOs within all of their participants in FP7 Security research. In total 20 (23,5%) of the 85 participants from Belgium were CSOs. From those 20 CSOs, most CSOs are on an international level, which indicates the high importance of the presence of the European Union and other international political bodies in Brussels. 60% of the Belgian CSOs were categorized as undefined CSOs. This indicates a low level of civil society representation within Belgian CSOs, because civil society representation can mostly be found within core CSOs (as core CSOs have features such as: grass roots origin, high involvement of non-professional staff, political and economic independence, common and/or public purpose, nonprofit etc.).

The remaining non-CSOs in Belgium draw a different picture than in the previous example of Poland: Private corporations are the larger sector in FP7 Security research participation in Belgium. Public institutions are less represented than in Poland.

In our qualitative data analysis there was one interviewee from Belgium (representing a private company/stakeholder in security research), who perceived that the European Commission has done a lot to increase the involvement of CSOs in security research. But in terms of the quality of participation, the interviewee mentioned that it would most likely be better to have the CSOs as advisors than as active partners. Both statements basically point towards regular experiences with CSOs within the ESRP.



The UK represents the cluster of countries with CSO participation between 1-5%; furthermore the UK also represents the “big players” in the ESRP during FP7. The participation rate of CSOs is at 3,8%, which is below the average of 4,8%. Regarding the classification of CSOs, half of the CSOs in the UK are core CSOs, which indicates a higher quality of civil society representation amongst the UKs CSOs than for instance in Belgium.

Amongst the other 202 participants (95,7% of the UK’s participants) – similarly to Belgium – the biggest sector of participants is the private corporations sector, with mainly enterprises and RTOs. Universities play the biggest role within the public sector, with 48 participating universities.

The dominant role of the private sector can also be found in the statement of one of the nine interviewees from the UK, who states that the representatives of CSOs should have the abilities to influence not specifically security research but the private sector as a whole.

For our interviewees representing CSOs in the UK, the most common way to become involved in FP7 Security research was by invitation, either from governmental- or private spheres. Four of the nine interviewees from the UK said that this was the case. Other common reasons that hinder CSOs in the UK from participating in FP7 Security research are the difficulties of EU administration, difficulties to enter already existing lobbies as new organizations, and that certain CSOs are strongly focused on regional and/or national outreach.



The ESRP shows low overall CSO participation during its FP7 period, which can be seen as a slight discrepancy from Article 11 of the Lisbon Treaty[16]. Only 4,8% of all ESRP participants are CSOs. One can divide these 4,8% by: geographical region, quantity per country, and through a quality classification of CSOs.

Geographically most of the European countries with no CSOs at all amongst their ESRP participants are in the eastern- and south-eastern European regions. Exceptions from south-eastern Europe are Bulgaria and Hungary with a rather high rate of CSOs. From Western Europe only Portugal and Ireland had no CSOs at all amongst their ESRP participants.

Regarding the quantity of participants per country it became evident that amongst the “very small players” in the ESRP (those countries with only 10 or less participants in total in the ESRP during FP7) almost all of them had no CSOs within their participants. The only exception is Tunisia. The countries with a very high quantity of ESRP participants have participant rates close to the average of 4,8%.

There have been differences in the classification of CSOs, too. We have classified the CSOs into core CSOs (e.g. NGOs or grass roots organizations), hybrid CSOs (e.g. stakeholder associations or umbrella organizations) and undefined CSOs (e.g. professional organizations or research focused associations).Of all ESRP participants 2% were core CSOs, 1,3% hybrid CSOs, and 1,5% undefined CSOs. This classification is very important, as it also indicates the quality of civil society representation, which is highest for core CSOs and lowest for undefined CSOs. There are also differences between the various countries regarding this classification. The biggest difference is between Belgium, with only 20% of core CSOs within their CSOs, and the Netherlands with 70% core CSOs.

If the EU wants to fulfill the goals of Article 11 of the Lisbon Treaty within the ESRP, we need to formulate new rules of representation for CSOs, to actively involve them in the security research programme under Horizon 2020.[17] Such rules should take into account that the encountered participation of CSOs in the FP7 security research programme differed between geographical regions, the quantity of total participants per country, and also in the quality of civil society representation of CSOs.



[3] This was done by copying the columns in text files and processing this text data with a PERL script.

[4] “SecurePART – Increasing the Engagement of Civil Society in Security Research” is a research project funded under the EU´s Seventh Framework Programme for Research. [URL:]

[5] In total the raw material comprised 1935 participants from 53 countries, which all were mapped.

[6] For a closer operationalization of the multiplicity of the term CSO see D3.2 of the SecurePART project.

[7] Core CSOs: e.g. NGOs or grass roots organizations; hybrid CSOs: e.g. stakeholder associations or umbrella organizations); undefined CSOs: e.g. professional organizations or research focused associations. For a closer operationalization of the three classifications see D1.2 of the SecurePART project.

[8] For the overall analysis we summed together all CSOs types (4,8% of the ESRP participants) and simply speak of CSOs, as all of these types consist of representatives of civil society.

[9] Next to these four, there is only one more “big player” with more than 150 participants amongst our sample, which can be found in cluster 2: France, with 9% of CSOs amongst its participants.

[10] When all 53 countries with participants in FP7 Security research are included, this trend is even more visible, because Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldavia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia, Russia and the Ukraine are also within this cluster.

[11] It was important to compare the extreme examples of the green and red clusters, with ordinary examples from the yellow and orange clusters. Therefore only one country (United Kingdom) from the orange cluster was chosen as an exemplary country profile from the ordinary examples from the yellow and orange clusters.

[12] The data from the different country reports can be found on the websites of the above-mentioned organizations. [URL:] [URL:]

[13] See BTI 2014 Poland Country Report [URL:]

[14] See BTI 2014 Poland Country Report [URL:]

[15] Only 4% of the NGOs are responsible for 80% of the sector’s income. See BTI 2014 Poland Country Report [URL:]



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Matrix of CSOs and other stakeholders’ perception and expectations

The transversal dimension elucidated here puts all stakeholders into relation with one another, and within the institutional context of the European Security Research Programme. The whole can be described as the governance regime of security research. For this reason, first, the institutional landscape for potential CSO participation in national security research programmes has to be documented and analysed. Following that, secondly, the possibilities for civil society participation opened up by the EU framework programmes will be explored. Last, based upon the selection and evaluation of existing results by EU projects, the traits and interests of major stakeholders, such as research and technology organizations (RTOs), or small and middle-sized enterprise (SMEs) will be explored. This analysis documents the enormous imbalance in participation among CSOs and other research actors in the European Security Research Programme (ESRP).


To trace the dynamics of Civil Society Organizations within security research, a model of stakeholder involvement in public policy will be applied. CSOs will be positioned according to their influence capacity along the dimensions of high/low power, and of high/low interest from security research. This report is a necessary step in order to subsequently devise a course of communicative action and activities to integrate and empower CSO participation in security policy making.


Download full report here.

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SecurePART @ Trust: Research Co-creating Resilient Societies

“Trust: Research Co-creating Resilient Societies” co-organized by the European Commission (DG RTD) and Net4Society is a high-level conference which took place in Brussels at the Royal Academy of Sciences on 29-30 October 2015.

The two-days conference “Trust: European Research Co-Creating Resilient Societies” offered a unique forum to discuss the different perceptions of trust and how research can contribute to fostering trust in societies.

The conference focused on how trust can be achieved, what trust is, how research can contribute to fostering trust in societies. The discussions aimed also to demonstrate how research can have a direct impact on economics, politics and society.

It was also a great opportunity for around 200 policy makers, research, and civil society representatives to discuss on:

  1. Europe in a changing world – Perspectives on 2050
  2. Research matching society – From visions to actions
  3. Let’s work together – From ideas to innovations in Horizon 2020

“We need to communicate not only to present data & results, but to build up TRUST” (said one of the speakers from the conference). We would add that we need to build up trust and s stronger connection between research-civil society, to make citizens more aware of how research and security research impacts their lives and how they can react and have a say!

SecurePART was presented as one of the projects which aims to offer an answer to the question “Why are social innovations essential for building trustworthy societies?”

IMG_20151030_123154-400 SecurePART@TRUST_collage-400

The consortium was represented by two of the partners, ENNA  (European Network of National Civil Society) and GUF (Goethe University from Frankfurt).

More information about the conference you can read on Net4Society website

The event was promoted also on SecurePART Facebook page

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SecurePART @ World Forum for Democracy

Gathering world leaders, civil society activists, opinion-makers, business people, academia, media and professional representatives, to debate key challenges for democracies worldwide, this year World Forum for Democracy proved to be the right place where to debate about Freedom vs. Control (this year’s theme of the WFD).

“The debates emphasized the need to check the cost‐effectiveness of surveillance, the risks of its encroaching into constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, its effects beyond national borders, the way in which it is managed and the central question of proper oversight – parliamentary, judiciary and financial. Even though the debate about surveillance is lively, whistle blowers are still few and no meaningful democratic control can be exercised by civil society. This is because the civil society is not equipped enough to assess the effectiveness of surveillance and its impact on freedoms. Calls for an enhanced civic engagement over surveillance issues can only be made in functioning democracies with sufficient cyber literacy levels. “ (from the preliminary report of the WFD 2015).

A series of very important recommendations were being drafted (at the end of 2 intensive days) for national authorities, international organizations, media and civil society.

SecurePART consortium was represented by two of the partners (from ENNA-European Network of National Civil Society Associations and GUF-Goethe University from Frankfurt).


Our colleague Georgios Kolliarakis (GUF) which was also one of the rapporteurs of the workshops on held under Challenge 1: Ensuring security and bringing surveillance under control, pointed that “in order to involve citizens, in the decision making process, in order to enable them more to control unwarranted surveillance, we need to create better institutional structures and also to foster digital literacy, as a strong way to empower people more”.

Our project had a good visibility (with hundreds of participants being present at the entire event). On one hand, our consortium members were participating to different workshops, talking about the need to have civil society more involved not only in security research, but also in security-related measures, actions. On the other hand, SecurePART had a permanent promotion stand, next to other very important organizations, groups (e.g., FRA – European Union Fundamental Rights Agency). So we had a very huge chance to talk more about our project, our results.


For more information about World Forum for Democracy (program, workshops, speakers) visit the event website.

For those interested in reading more about Politics, security technologies, and civil society: the missing links, we invite you to read Georgios Kolliarakis editorial published on

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SecurePART organizó un taller sobre seguridad en H2020 en Madrid en colaboración con el CDTI (Centro de Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial) y la Coordinadora de ONG de desarrollo Española

El pasado 18 de noviembre tuvo lugar un taller informativo en la Sede de Caritas Española en Madrid junto con la Spanish National Contact Point de Secure Societies (Maite Boyero) y 10 Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil que forman parte del grupo de trabajo de Seguridad de la Coordinadora de ONGDs española. Entre ellas se encontraron representantes de la Cruz Roja Española, Ayuda en Acción, Entreculturas, Alianza por la Solidaridad, Caritas, InteRed, Medicos del Mundo, Fundación FES, ADSIS y Humanismo y Democracia.

En la misma se vieron y explicaron los siguientes aspectos: el Programa Marco de I+D, tipos de proyectos, qué es lo que no financia H2020, las ventajas de participar, esquema del Programa H2020, detalle de los retos sociales, resultados en España, ranking de organizaciones españolas que participan, origen del reto de seguridad, retorno por tipo de entidad, particularidades y finalmente los ‘topics’ del programa específico de ‘Secure Societies’ 2016-2017 como avance al Info Day que tendrá lugar en febrero de 2016.


El encuentro facilitó la proyección del video que el proyecto SecurePART ha desarrollado, y a través del cual, de una manera gráfica las organizaciones presentes pudieron verse reflejadas y representadas por el contenido de dicho video. La presentación que se realizó al inicio de la jornada pudo acercar la participación de las organizaciones en el programa de Secure Societies.

Todas las organizaciones quedaron muy satisfechas con la presentación realizadas, con los contenidos trabajados en el taller, con la documentación recibida físicamente (guía H2020 para OSCs, resultados del primer periodo de implementación de SecurePART, Work Programme de Secure Societies 2016-2017) y compartieron la necesidad de profundizar en toda la información aportada.

Como resultado, se han inscrito en la lista de contactos del proyecto y del CDTI con el objetivo de estar al tanto de la evolución del proyecto y de los próximos eventos nacionales y europeos relacionados con la temática para participar, conocer en detalle los topics y ampliar su red de contactos española y europea; con lo que comenzarán con su Plan de Acción en ‘Security Research’.  Además, cada una de las organizaciones se ha comprometido en compartir internamente en sus organizaciones, las informaciones recibidas y motivar el interés de estar presente en el marco del programa.


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SecurePart organized a workshop about security in H2020 at Madrid in collaboration with CDTI (Centre for Industrial Development Technology) and the Spanish ONG Coordinator

Last 18th of November took place a workshop in the headquarters of Spanish Caritas in Madrid with the Spanish National Contact Point of Secure Societies (Maite Boyero) and 10 CSOs that are part of the working group of the Spanish ONGDs coordinator. There were representatives from Spanish Red Cross, Ayuda en Acción, Entreculturas, Alianza por la Seguridad, Caritas, InteRed, Medicos del Mundo, Fundación FES, ADSIS and Humanismo y Democracia.

In the workshop it was explained the following issues: R&D Framework Programme, types of projects, what it is not supported by H2020, pros of participating, scheme of H2020 Programme, detail of societal challenges, Spanish results, ranking of Spanish organizations that participate, origin of the security challenge, return by type of organization, particularities and finally the topics of the Secure Societies Programme 2016-2017 as an advance information from the Info Day that will take place most probably in February 2016.

At the beginning of the workshop it was showed the video that the SecurePART Project developed, and through which in an easy way, the organizations were able to see them reflected and represented by the content of the video. The presentation that was done at the beginning of the workshop helped to meet the participation of those organizations into the Secure Societies Programme.


All the organizations were very satisfied with the presentations done, also with the contents it was worked in the workshop, with the documents received (H2020 guide for CSOs, first period results of the project implementation from SecurePART, Secure Societies Work Programme 2016-2017) and it was shared the necessity of deepened in the given information.

As a result, all the participants has subscribed themselves to the contact list of the project and to the CDTI one, in order to get aware of the project progress and of the following national and European events related with the thematic in order to participate, to know more about the topics and increase their Spanish and European network; so they will start with their Action Plan in Security Research. Also, all the organizations have committed themselves to share internally in their organizations, the information received and motivate the interest to be present in the framework of this programme.


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