Security is the state of being free from danger or threat; or the safety of a state or organization against criminal activity such as terrorism, theft, or espionage: a matter of national security; or procedures followed or measures taken to ensure the security of a state or organization; or the state of feeling safe, stable, and free from fear or anxiety.

To the EU, internal security specifically means "protecting people and the values of freedom and democracy, so that everyone can enjoy their daily lives without fear. It also reflects Europe's shared vision of today's challenges and our resolve to present a common front in dealing with those threats, where appropriate, with policies that harness the added value of the EU." Ethical, human, societal concerns are integral to the European security model.


Council of the European Union: Draft Internal Security Strategy for the European Union: "Towards a European Security Model". 5842/2/10 REV 2. Brussels, 23 February 2010, p. 4.

Drivers of change to the concept of security#

According to results from the FOCUS project, drivers of change to the concept of security in the EU, and indications of what the futute evolution of the concept of security may comprise, include the following top 10 list - with resources and resilience being the two most important groups of drivers:
  1. Crises resulting from scarcity of resources (e.g. energy-caused stress and, most importantly, increasing scarcity of conventional oil; dependencies on supply chains);
  2. Societal resilience and preparedness: certain risks cannot be catered to or avoided; societies must prepare for shocks and have the ability to recover;
  3. Changing borderlines between internal and external security, including the extent of relations with the world’s leading countries;
  4. Technological change, including new technologies that drive or change security needs;
  5. Mass migration flows, e.g. due to economic disparity, global conflicts, natural disasters and climate change;
  6. New potentials and profiles of international conflicts with main leverages like cyber, energy, scarce resources, etc.;
  7. Diffusion of power within and among nation-states, marked by the rise of population-rich and economically powerful China and India, as well as the increased importance of energy-rich states and regions;
  8. Dependency on information and communication technology, and technology in general (with a focus on cascading breakdown of systems);
  9. Demographic shifts with pressure on resources;
  10. Increased reliance on critical infrastructures which are vulnerable and have little spare capacity, operate at the edges of performance and loads, and are critically depending on other infrastructures.


  • Buzan, B., Wæver, O. & De Wilde, J.: Security: A New Framework for Analysis. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1998.
  • Dunn, M. & Mauer, V. (eds.): The Routledge Companion of Security Studies. London: Routledge, 2010.
  • FOCUS Deliverable 8.1: Thematic scenario portfolio with reference scenarios, 2012.
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