Since September 2011 road security has become a concern for governments worldwide and a significant number of measures have been taken to strengthen security in the transport sector both at international and EU level. CORTE expertise in road security can be divided in the following sectors:
- Aviation security;
- Maritime security;
- Border security;
- Critical infrastructure protection;
- Counter-terror intelligence (including cyber security and communication);
- Crisis management/civil protection;
- Physical security protection; and
- Protective clothing.
The security threat on European roads has become concurrent since drivers; vehicles and cargo are increasingly exploited for criminal activities. The reason why road transport provides an alluring choice for criminals or terrorists is that a large percentage of trucks carry hazardous freight among which it is easy to conceal barred items. Indeed, the transportation of dangerous goods is the most common security threat in Europe even though two Directives have already been adopted in this regard; the carriage of all dangerous goods and the carriage of high consequence dangerous goods. Furthermore, the events of 9/11 and the subsequent terrorist attacks have highlighted an entirely new set of security issues in Europe which are increasingly tackled by the European Union.
Member States are currently responsible for controlling their own borders, and therefore, also security related matters mainly fall under their exclusive competences. Recently however, the European Commission has acknowledged that a common European Security Environment may be necessary in the fight against terrorism, trafficking, drug smuggling, illegal immigration, organised crime and several other emerging security threats. With this in mind, the Commission has launched several security programmes and actively supported security-related research projects. These are important steps in the creation of a common security framework, however, for the moment, the European wide security net remains diverse and fragmented.
With regard to the development of new security measures, it is essential to extend them to cover all modes of transport in terms of effectiveness. If one of various modes of transport fails to respect set security standards, it steals the basis of the overall security of transport infrastructure. Common policies to all modes of transport also avoid loopholes in the supply chain. The importance of road security is becoming more and more visible, and the European Union is expected to address new policy measures in the near future. CORTE is also extending its work in the Road Security Pillar and participates in a number of projects.