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Research and innovation
News article23 May 2024Directorate-General for Research and Innovation2 min read

EU Member States adopt recommendations to enhance research security

Today, the EU made an important step towards ensuring that international research and innovation cooperation can take place in a way that is both open and safe. At the meeting of the Council of the EU, research ministers adopted a Recommendation on enhancing research security, which puts forward measures designed to protect research and innovation from misuse.

Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:

“Openness and international cooperation are at the core of great science and innovation, but they also make it particularly vulnerable to security threats. With these recommendations, the EU responds to the calls for clarity and guidance from researchers and innovators. We will work together to safeguard sensitive knowledge from being misused, supporting research organisations in fulfilling their responsibilities while protecting academic freedom and building a resilient ecosystem.”

The Recommendation is based on a Commission proposal tabled on 24 January 2024 as part of measures underpinning the European Economic Security Strategy. It strikes a balance between being open and safe, while respecting and safeguarding crucial principles such as academic freedom, institutional autonomy and non-discrimination.

Today’s agreement will enable the Member States to address research security in a collective and coordinated way. Alignment and consistency across the EU are key to an effective response to these threats. 

With the adoption of this Recommendation, EU Member States commit to work jointly on the issue. Next steps on their part include developing a coherent set of policy measures and support structures for the research sector, introducing research security questions in grant application forms and encouraging research performing organisations to introduce research security risk management.

For its part, the Commission will follow up on the recommendations by leveraging the European Research Area governance structures bringing together Member States’ experts, funding organisations, and EU level stakeholders.

The Commission has already started to explore possibilities for establishing a European Centre of Expertise on Research Security and for supporting capacity building and peer learning for national administrations.

The Commission will continue to actively engage with our key partners around the globe to seek alignment between safeguarding measures. The first European Flagship Conference on Research Security, expected to take place in autumn 2025, will take stock of the progress made.


The Commission tabled its proposal for a Council Recommendation on enhancing research security on 24 January 2024 as part of a follow-up package to the European Economic Security Strategy, which was launched on 20 June 2023 by a joint Communication

For its proposal the Commission took into account the policy debate on knowledge security and responsible internationalisation that Ministers of Research had at their meeting of 23 May 2023, as well as the feedback from stakeholders received following a call for evidence, end of 2023. It is also in line with the 2021 Commission Communication on the Global Approach to Research and Innovation: Europe's strategy for international cooperation in a changing world.

Following today’s adoption by the Council, the official publication of the Council Recommendation is expected in the coming days.

More information 

Factsheet: Council recommendation on research security

Factsheet: Building blocks for risk appraisal


Press contact:

EC Spokesperson for Research, Science and Innovation


Publication date
23 May 2024
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation