ePassport gates in Heathrow Airport. Photo: Home Office / CC BY 2.0
ePassport gates in Heathrow Airport. Photo: Home Office / CC BY 2.0

A collaborative project in which PRIO participates has been awarded a large grant from the European Union's Horizon Europe programme.

Kicking off in the fall of 2022 with a budget of EUR 2 million, the TRANSCEND project will promote effective strategies to increase the involvement and participation of civil society in the processes by which security technologies are developed and deployed in Europe.

Current European research and innovation (R&I) and security policies aim to address challenges that threaten European societies by deploying security technologies. Security technologies are typically intended to promote public safety, security and increase societal resilience. At the same time, security technologies spur controversies and can have enormous societal, legal, ethical, economic and political impact. Such technologies often infringe human rights, reproduce and reinforce power imbalances and social injustice. Civil society is rarely or restrictively involved during research and development of security technologies, and thus societal concerns might not be well addressed in this process. Security technologies and R&I should not create societal mistrust or missed opportunities to jointly build societal resilience.

TRANSCEND aims to improve practices of citizen and societal engagement in security R&I to enable individuals, and organisations that speak on their behalf, to participate actively and creatively in processes of design and deployment. TRANSCEND will develop methods to enhance the involvement of civil society in security R&I. These methods will be tested and evaluated in four pilots, in close collaboration with diverse 'on the ground' organisations, by bringing together actors from academia, government, industry and society.

The project is led by Trilateral Research. PRIO's team leads the part of the project that engages with civil society organisations and maps EU security research in Europe, and leads a pilot on border security.