Study on EU preparedness and responses to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) threats
Using a ‘Team Europe’ approach to create and maintain a strong task force based response capacity, with additional authority and competence given by EU Member States to the EU is the core of our recommendations in our study on EU preparedness and responses to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) threats. This would enable the EU to better support and manage an EU-wide crisis response in the CBRN field in a timely and effective manner.
The landscape of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) threats has rapidly evolved in the last few years. This applies to threats from both state and non-state actors. A prime example of this is the COVID – 19 pandemic, which as an infectious disease, shows the potential impact of a biological threat event.
Given the recent developments in the landscape of CBRN threats, the Subcommittee on Security and Defence of the European Parliament asked Ecorys to research the preparedness and responses of the European Union to CBRN threats. For the study, Ecorys teamed up with several key experts in the field. Together they conducted extensive desk research and thematic interviews and collected written inputs from practitioners and advisors from a range of backgrounds for this study.
Scope of the study
The objective of the CBRN study was threefold. First, it provided an update on the current threat levels of CBRN threats. This included an update on the state and non-state actors from which such threats might stem. Second, the study assessed the EU’s preparedness to deal with these threats by taking stock of the existing preparedness and response mechanisms. The researchers matched these against the updated threat landscape to determine the current state of play of the EU’s response tools and any remaining areas for improvement. The third objective of the study was to provide recommendations to improve the EU’s preparedness against and response to CBRN threats, which were formulated based on conclusions drawn from the analysis.
EU preparedness and responses to CBRN threats
The research team identified a trend of weakening of the main regimes against CBRN weapons, thus increasing the risk of proliferation. Regarding the CBRN threat from non-state actors, the researchers noted that whilst there are indications of some of these actors having both intent and a limited capacity to employ CBRN weapons, one must not overblow the CBRN terrorist threat.
The research team’s main recommendations build on using a ‘Team Europe’ approach to create and maintain a strong task force based response capacity, with additional authority and competence given by the EU Member States to the EU. This would enable the EU to better support and manage an EU-wide crisis response in the CBRN field in a timely and effective manner.
For more information, please read the full report.