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Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation
News article24 January 2023Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, Joint Research Centre2 min read

EU launches three-year project to improve Chemical Safety and Security in the Middle East

ARZ 2023 CBRN Countering Terrorism


Misuse of toxic chemicals and chemical terrorism pose a grave threat to international peace and security, especially in the Middle East. The use of industrial chemicals as chemical weapons in Syria or as means of terror in Iraq, the explosion in the port of Beirut (2020), or the accident with a container of chlorine in Jordan’s port of Aqaba (2022), are examples demonstrating the risk of unauthorised, ill-controlled storage and use of dangerous chemicals in the region.

Whereas countries in the Middle East differ in terms of implementation and enforcement of relevant measures to mitigate chemical risks, they share a common need and commitment for improving chemical safety and security within and across their borders.

Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon: a regional approach

As part of its goal to strengthening CBRN risk mitigation and enhance security and safety worldwide, the European Union has launched a three year project (2022 – 2025) that will improve chemical safety and security in the Middle East region.

Established in the context of the EU CBRN CoE Initiative, the participating countries Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon will collaborate and cooperate throughout 36 months in a series of capacity building activities aimed at increasing their preparedness and response to chemical risks. The project’s roadmap will adapt to the different national needs, yet following a regional approach under the guidance of the EU CBRN CoE Regional Secretariat for Middle East.

Funded by the European Union, the project is implemented by the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK CEN) in partnership with Poland’s Lukasiewicz Industrial Chemistry Institute.

What activities will the project support?

The project ‘Improvement of Chemical Safety and Security in the Middle East’ will support the following activities, among others:

  • Sharing international best practices for chemical safety supporting a comprehensive national risk management programme;
  • Mapping of chemical facilities and supporting the development of a chemical inventory database;
  • Development, presentation and practical application of a risk assessment and risk management methodology;
  • Procurement of equipment for Iraqi inspectors;
  • Training of inspectors;
  • Disposal and neutralization of chemicals.

Visit the project’s page for a complete overview of its scope, specific goals, and recent achievements.

EU CBRN Risk Mitigation: Building a safer and more secure world

The European Union funds the project ‘Improvement of Chemical Safety and Security in the Middle East’ within the framework of the European Union Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence EU CBRN CoE. Supported through the NDICI – Global Europe instrument, the Initiative represents the EU’s largest civilian external security programme.

Funded and implemented by the European Union, with the support of UNICRI, the EU CBRN CoE is working to build a safer and more secure world.

The EU CBRN CoE brings together 64 Partner Countries across 8 regions that cooperate at regional and international level to strengthen CBRN risk mitigation and to promote a global culture of safety and security. Since the Initiative’s inception in 2010, more than 100 EU-funded projects have been implemented to support the mitigation of and preparedness to CBRN risks.

Visit the EU CBRN Risk Mitigation page to learn more about the EU CBRN CoE and other EU flagship initiatives strengthening CBRN safety and security worldwide.


Publication date
24 January 2023
Service for Foreign Policy Instruments | Joint Research Centre
CBRN areas
  • Border control and monitoring
  • Crisis management
  • First response
  • Illicit trafficking
  • Import/export control
  • Investigation and prosecution
  • Legal framework
  • Post incident recovery
  • Protection of material/facilities
  • Public and infrastructure protection
  • Public health impact mitigation
  • Safety and security
  • Waste management
CBRN categories
  • Chemical
CoE Region
  • MIE - Middle East