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European Union; United States: Agreement to Cooperate on Security Research

(Nov. 29, 2010) On November 18, 2010, the European Union and the United States concluded the Implementing Arrangement for Cooperative Activities in the Field of Homeland/Civil Security Research. The plan was signed by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani. (Press Release, European Commission, EU, US Agree to Enhance Cooperation in Field of Security Research,EUROPA (Nov. 25, 2010), http://euro

The new agreement provides the basis for facilitating cooperation in research and encourages the use of the results of that cooperation in ways that benefit both parties to the agreement. It follows a 2006 summit conference, at which the two sides saw the need for more transparency between their security programs, and is pursuant to the broader Agreement for Scientific and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the United States and the European Commission, as extended in 2009 (see Treaties Office Database,
(last visited Nov. 29, 2010)).

The cooperation envisioned under the new pact is quite broad, covering protection of citizens from natural and man-made threats. It is designed to include research on:

● management of crisis and emergency situations;

● security and resilience of critical infrastructures;

● the interaction of security and society, including the human-technology interface, behavioral research, privacy concerns, and biometrics;

● security of border controls and crossings, including land and coastal borders;

● optimization of existing technologies, and their inter-operability;

● development of end-user technologies and equipment, such as those for civil protection and first responders; and

● development and exchange of relevant requirements, standards, vulnerability assessments, interdependency analyses, certifications, best practices, guidelines, training programs, test reports, data, software, equipment, and personnel. (Press Release, supra.)

The Implementing Arrangement, while having the goal of promoting reciprocal opportunities for research cooperation, does not create binding, legal obligations. Coordination will be accomplished by a Steering Group, comprised of representatives from the United States and the EU, which will oversee projects by universities, non-profit organizations, and public/private partnerships. (Id.)