A central theme of the SIPRI European Security Programme is the need to define security in terms of the issues of primary concern to citizens. Because of their connection to their constituents and their habits of networking with peers in other countries, parliamentarians in European countries are in a unique position to assess the relationship between security policy and the wider needs of citizens. Therefore, engagement with parliamentarians is a priority for the programme.
European countries continue to invest significant resources in maintaining and developing armed forces and military capabilities. The Programme monitors and analyses the military dimension of the evolving European security environment to assess the value, effectiveness and efficiency of these investments.
In international comparative terms, European citizens are relatively insulated from the consequences of violent organized crime. However, while no European country appears in the 20 countries with the highest rates of gun deaths in the world, no European Union (EU) country remains unaffected by firearms violence. Efforts continue to reduce the impact of gun crime on the security of citizens, in particular by working with EU institutions to further reduce the consequences of gun violence.
The need to protect citizens from the consequences of both intentional and unintentional human acts, as well as natural hazards and technical failures, has become an important strand in the European security discourse. A so-called all-hazard perspective is used to prevent, mitigate and recover from major disruptions to infrastructure on which the European way of life depends, such as energy and information and communications systems. The Programme will work to develop a better understanding of ways to detect and respond to both intentional and unintentional human acts that cause or may cause harm involving nuclear or other radioactive materials, installations or technologies.
The findings of the Programme’s research work are published in SIPRI’s collections and in collaboration with external partners.
The Programme undertakes research that combines SIPRI's long-standing focus on traditional security issues with an in-depth study of the evolving challenges posed by new models of governance and continuous technological change. Current research activities include:
Regional security building
- Helsinki +40 Colloquium Project
- The European Union and the comprehensive approach to security
- Future development of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
Security of European citizens and societies
- Combating the illegal acquisition, possession and use of firearms in the European Union
- Nuclear security
- Cybersecurity and the responsible use of information and communications technology
European engagement in global security