With threats increasingly complex and international in nature, EU funds can help build a Union resilient to future security challenges and better equipped to respond to emergencies. The €2.5 billion under the reinforced Internal Security Fund (ISF) is complemented by almost €1.2 billion for safer decommissioning of nuclear activities in some Member States, and comes in addition to €1.1 billion for stronger EU Agencies in the area of security.
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "Feeling safe at home or when walking down the street is one of the most basic human rights. Europeans expect their governments and their Union to provide that safety. More flexible security funding tailored to the specific needs of Member States will ensure that Europeans can be better protected, as they rightly should be. "
Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "When it comes to the security and safety of our citizens, we should be sparing no efforts – and our money needs to follow suit. This is why we are increasing the security budget for the next years by one third, to reach € 4.8 billion. We are helping Member States to be better prepared for future security challenges and unforeseen emergencies. We are building a safer and more resilient Europe for our citizens. A Europe that protects."
Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King said: "We need to build a robust response to the multi-dimensional, cross-border and constantly-evolving security threats we face from terrorists and criminals – one that doesn't duplicate Member States' efforts, but rather complements them by connecting the dots both within the EU and beyond. Today's proposal for a greatly reinforced Internal Security Fund offers exactly that – a more resilient Europe as the foundation of an effective and genuine Security Union."
A reinforced Internal Security Fund (ISF)
While protecting citizens is first and foremost a national competence, the European Union plays a vital role in supporting Member States' efforts. The Commission is proposing today to more than double the Internal Security Fund (ISF), the key financial instrument to support Member States in the area of security, from €1 billion to €2.5 billion. The new fund will include:
- A new set of objectives: The reinforced ISF will have 3 new objectives focusing on: (1) increasing the exchange of information between EU law enforcement authorities; (2) intensifying cross-border joint operations; and (3) strengthening capabilities to combat and prevent crime, and to tackle radicalisation. This will support Member States in a more flexible and effective way to deliver on priority security areas: the fight against terrorism and radicalisation; serious and organised crime; cybercrime; and the protection of victims of crime;
- More flexibility and better emergency response: €1.5 billion of the fund will be allocated to Member States allowing them to build long term security resilience. The remaining €1 billion will be reserved for unforeseen security challenges, allowing for rapid response to emergencies and the channelling of funds to the Member States that need them most;
- Greater coordination across EU policies: Security is an evolving and cross-cutting issue requiring a coordinated EU response. The reinforced ISF will work more effectively with other EU funds, including the Cohesion Policy Funds and Horizon Europe, as well as the Integrated Border Management Fund and the Asylum and Migration Fund in order to maximise the effectiveness of the EU response to security challenges on all fronts;
- Strong external dimension: Security is a global issue and our safety at home depends on our actions beyond the EU borders. The ISF will continue to support measures in non-EU countries, while ensuring full complementarity with the Union's internal security priorities and overall objectives in those countries.
- Reinforcing EU agencies: Outside of this fund and to be presented separately, almost €1.1 billion will be dedicated to further strengthening of EU Agencies in the area of security – European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (EUROPOL), the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
Continued safety of nuclear decommissioning
The EU's nuclear decommissioning assistance programmes (NDAP) aim to assist Member States in the process of winding and shutting down those nuclear installations in the final step in their lifecycles, while keeping the highest level of safety. For 2021-2027, the Union will continue to provide strictly targeted financial support in the amount of €118 million for decommissioning in Bulgaria and Slovakia, and €552 millionfor nuclear decommissioning in Lithuania. Another €348 million will be allocated for decommissioning and radioactive waste management of the European Commission's nuclear research facilities, and €160 million will support general nuclear safety and safeguards actions.
Finally, the Commission also proposes to reinforce the EU Civil Protection Mechanism through its rescEU system with €1.4 billion - this comes in addition to the €4.8 billion for the future security funding.