The independent resource on global security


Map of Europe

A central theme of SIPRI's work on European Security 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 crucial.

European countries continue to invest significant resources in maintaining and developing armed forces and military capabilities. SIPRI 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 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. SIPRI works 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.


LNG terminal in Swinoujscie, Poland

SIPRI studies the potential security risks associated to energy supply across Europe and the ways in which these can be minimized.

Soliders during Poland's National Independence Day in November 2015

SIPRI looks at the increasing military security issues in Europe.

Curving road on the Old Silk Route between China and India

SIPRI examines potential trade relations between China and the EU.

Black Sea

Nuclear security and peaceful solutions are at the centre of SIPRI research and dialogue initiatives in the Black Sea region. 

The Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker '50 years of victory' in the Arctic Ocean.

The Arctic Futures initiative studies the security and international politics of the Arctic.

Research staff

Dr Barbara Kunz is a Senior Researcher and Director of the SIPRI European Security Programme.