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Competence Centre on Foresight

We foster a strategic, future-oriented and anticipatory culture in the EU policymaking process.


Changing security paradigm

Diversification of threats and actors is generating new challenges to the defence and security communities, as well as to society as a whole.

(© U.S. Air National Guard)

The nature, scope and spectrum of conflicts and security are changing. The emerging security paradigm is framed by new asymmetrical warfare, increasingly easy access to increasingly powerful weapons, violent extremism, conflicting motivations, and a relatively chaotic organisation of the parties involved.
The diversification of threats and actors is generating new challenges to the defence and security communities, as well as to society as a whole.

Developments and Forecasts

Globalisation, migration, geopolitical shifts, changing nature and balance of power, and increasing access of individuals to technological and social resources, have raised the world’s vulnerabilities to new levels and are changing the security paradigm.

The UN, NATO, and other security structures are based on the nation-state as the primary decision-making entity, which makes it increasingly difficult to address the new security challenges.

Global outlook

World military expenditure and weapons trade

Shifting balance of power

Hybrid threats


Dual-use technologies


Transnational organised crime and security

Environmental security

More Developments and Forecasts

Potential Implications

As growing populations and economies increase the drain on natural resources and cause environmental degradation, social tensions are expected to increase, triggering complex interactions of old ethnic and religious conflicts, civil unrest, indigenous protests, terrorism, and crime. In local areas where political, environmental, and economic conditions worsen, increasing migrations can be expected, which in turn can create new conflicts.

The new security paradigm

Regulatory system for new technologies

Terrorism and lone wolf prevention

Addressing cyber blitzkrieg

New social contract

Pillars for peaceful societies

More Potential Implications


Indicators to measure change and potential forecasts.

Terrorism is perceived as the most important issue facing the European Union
Source: European Commission, (Spring 2017), Standard Eurobarometer 87 - Public opinion in the European Union




(© European Commission)

More Indicators

Relevant EC Work

Policy papers and projects on changing security paradigm

Models relevant to changing security paradigm used by the EC

TIM (Tools for Innovation Monitoring) is a tool developed by the EC Joint Research Centre to monitor and better understand the different facets of innovation and technological development.
Use TIM to explore R&I related to changing security paradigm


(© JRC, European Commission)

The EMM News Brief, Europe Media Monitoring, is a fully automatic system that analyses both traditional and social media. It gathers and aggregates about 300,000 news articles per day from news portals world-wide in up to 70 languages. 
Use EMM News Brief to explore worldwide news related to changing security paradigm


(© EU, 2018)

More EC Work

Other resources

Selected resources relevant to changing security paradigm

More Resources on this megatrend

Disclaimer: the content presented in this Megatrends Hub does not represent the views of the JRC or those of the EC, nor an endorsement by them.

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