The Center for Security Studies (Kentro Meleton Asfaleias – KEMEA), founded in 2005 by Law 3387, is a scientific, consulting and research organization overseen by the Minister of Citizen Protection, governed by common law and annually audited by chartered accountants. Its principal purpose is to conduct theoretical and applied research and studies, particularly at strategic level, on security topics and policies. Moreover, it is the think-tank of the Ministry of Citizen Protection on numerous policies such as public order, correctional services, terrorism prevention, crime prevention, integrated border management and civil protection as well as on various other security and societal issues; it also provides advisory and consulting risk-management services to an array of public and private organizations.
KEMEA is governed by a 7-member Board of Directors (BoD) and managed by an Executive Director and a Deputy Executive Director, all appointed by decision of the Minister of Citizen Protection. The composition of KEMEA’s BoD, where both the Hellenic Police (HP) and the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) are represented, is indicative of KEMEA’s interservice orientation.
Currently, KEMEA employs one hundred and seventy-five (175) scientific and research associates with a broad range of high-calibre academic backgrounds and professional expertise. Of them, forty-four (44) are in active service at the domestic law enforcement, civil protection and defense agencies.
To meet the growing needs of the security and law enforcement practitioners and related academia, KEMEA has participated in research projects of the Horizon 2020 – the Research and Innovation Framework Programme of the European Commission – ever since it was launched; part of the H2020 is devoted to “Secure Societies – Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens”. KEMEA’s objective in this context, is not only the development of new technologies or the application of emerging technologies, but also the understanding of associated phenomena and the development of more effective policies.
Under this area of work, within the EU and including the results of 2019, KEMEA currently ranks first in terms of both net EU contributions and number of EU-funded projects (50 projects).
By virtue of its afore mentioned achievements and owing to the fact that in 2020 alone it is participating in overall 67 EU-funded research projects, ranging from Border & External Security, Fight against Crime & Terrorism, Disaster Resilient Societies, Cyber- & Digital-Security to Critical Infrastructure Protection, ISF-Police, ISF-Borders, Interreg, Erasmus, Justice, Anti-trafficking, etc. KEMEA is considered a key player in the EU Research, Development and Innovation community.
Moreover, pursuant to the provisions of Council Directive 2008/114/EC on the identification and designation of European critical infrastructures and the assessment of the need to improve their protection, and by a Presidential Decree of 2011 (Nr. 39 of 6.5.2011) KEMEA is the nationally designated European Critical Infrastructure Protection (ECIP) Contact Point, responsible to coordinate ECIP issues domestically, as well as with other Member States and the European Commission.
Finally, KEMEA is represented and participates actively in the deliberations of the governing bodies of EOS, ECSO, EARTO, ESDC; it has been also a CEPOL partner since 2016 and, since 2019 the designated focal point between the Hellenic Police and the European Border & Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) on Research and Innovation matters.