The European Union Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence Initiative (or EU CBRN CoE) was launched in response to the need to strengthen the institutional capacities and human capabilities of countries outside the European Union to mitigate CBRN risks. The EU Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, which funds the EU CBRN Risk Mitigation CoE Initiative, is mobilising national, regional and international resources to develop a coherent CBRN policy at all levels.
The EU CBRN Risk Mitigation Centers of Excellence Initiative applies a comprehensive approach encompassing legal, regulatory, enforcement and technical issues. It is grounded on several principles:
- Networking, regional and international partnerships, coordination of existing capabilities in terms of expertise, training, technical assistance or equipment.
- Addressing regional CBRN needs through specific tailored projects in various areas of concern, such as: protection of CBRN material and facilities; prevention of CBRN misuse and terrorism; border monitoring; export control; safeguarding CBRN information; bio-safety and bio-security; illicit trafficking; CBRN waste management; crisis response and post-incident recovery; public health impact mitigation; investigation and prosecution.
- Establishing a regional culture of safety and security by increasing local ownership, local expertise and long-term sustainability.
- Reinforcing national CBRN policies, improving institutional capacities in all related domains: legal, regulatory, control, scientific and technical support, and law enforcement.
- Promoting a coherent interagency approach for better coordination and effective response.
- Harnessing cooperation with international organisations and EU member states to ensure synergy and avoid duplication of efforts.
- Enhancing coherence and visibility of the EU action.
The EU CBRN Center of Excellence initiative is built on a worldwide network of local experts and collaborating partners. Membership in the Centers of Excellence is voluntary. The countries that join the initiative work together in eight regions, headed by a secretariat at regional level. Currently the Centers of Excellence initiative is working with 56 countries.
Funded by the European Commission, the EU CBRN CoE initiative is implemented in cooperation with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the European Commission Joint Research Center (JRC). The European External Action Service is also involved in the follow-up of the initiative. International and regional organizations with competences in the CBRN field, the EU Member States and other stakeholders provide support and contribute to the effective implementation of the initiative through cooperation at national, regional and international level.