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CBRN Centers of Excellence

The Centers of Excellence initiative for the reduction of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) risks was launched by the European Union (EU) in 2010. Its objective is the prevention, preparation and management from post-crisis to CBRN incidents. These can be of a criminal nature (trafficking, theft, proliferation, sabotage), accidental (industrial disasters, waste treatment) or natural (pandemics, etc.). This action aims to promote political and operational cooperation at national, regional and international levels.


Funded by the EU with a budget of 250 million euros for the period 2010-2020, this action is implemented through its Joint Research Center and the United Nations Inter-regional Crime Research Institute and justice (UNICRI). It is developing a network present in more than 61 partner countries around the world, grouped in eight regional offices for: the African Atlantic Façade, Central and Eastern Africa, North Africa, South-Eastern Europe , the Middle East, the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia. These offices located in a country of each region ensure the regional coordination of the initiative, promote political and operational coordination between the participating countries, and facilitate the exchange of good practices by setting up a network of expertise.


Participating countries appoint a national focal point to coordinate a national team composed of representatives  of all the authorities concerned. Through this team, each country commits to conducting a needs assessment, developing a national action plan, and identifying and implementing regional projects.


The added value of this EU Initiative compared to other approaches is both to promote a holistic view of CBRN risks and threats, which are too often addressed separately despite many aspects in common, and to provide participants with an international network of authorities and experts that meets regularly.


The EU CBRN CoE initiative is funded by the European Union through the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) and implemented in cooperation with the United Nations Interregional Research Institute on crime and justice (UNICRI). The initiative is set up with the technical support of relevant international and regional organizations as well as EU member countries and other relevant stakeholders through a coherent approach to promote efficient and effective cooperation at national, regional and international. The initiative involves sixty-one countries in eight regions of the world and is the EU's largest external civil security programme.

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