Through collective efforts, the international community has made great strides in creating and promoting global awareness and cooperation in nuclear security. Since the 1st Nuclear Security Summit in 2010, an increased awareness and political momentum favoured international cooperation and boosted initiatives and activities at the IAEA level, as well as in the framework of the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, Interpol, the current Nuclear Security Contact Group. In terms of cooperative processes, considerable progress has been achieved at international, national and regional level.
From a broad perspective, while raising awareness and boosting international cooperation, the wave that brought nuclear security high on the political agenda at international level also contributed to tangible achievements, by strengthening overall commitment in order to ensure that nuclear and radioactive materials are further secured - and in particular that prevention, detection and response to malicious acts is improved.
At the EU level, nuclear security lies with national governments and remains the sole responsibility of each Member State. However, due to its global connotation, to the interdependency of different risks and of the measures to face them, it is broadly acknowledged that coordination within the European Union, as well as international cooperation, will remain crucial.
Through the work of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), the EU provides valuable technical support including education and training, in alignment and complementarity with MS' needs and activities, and also contributing to the international nuclear security framework.
This paper illustrates how the EU has integrated the efforts in global security at the top of its political priorities, in active cooperation with the IAEA and other relevant partners. Moreover, it presents the main technical achievements in key areas related to nuclear security. The technical nuclear expertise developed by the EC/JRC during 60 years and the valuable research carried on in the areas of detection, response and forensics, bring tangible results for enhancing EU internal nuclear security. This expertise, put at the service of EU MS, also serves the development of EU standards for detection technologies and forensic methodologies. Additionally, training and exercises provided in the framework of the European Nuclear Security Training Centre (EUSECTRA) represent key elements for an effective nuclear security system. Awareness raising, capacity building and outreach initiatives, deployed through the EU CBRN Centres of Excellence, are successfully performed in order to join forces at international level, harmonise approaches to prevention, preparedness and response for the mitigation of CBRN risks worldwide, as well as to maximise the results from collective efforts.
Together with the IAEA and other international and national partners, the EU supports - through its technical nuclear security expertise - the global nuclear security architecture and continues to play a crucial role in consolidating achievements and boosting new developments.