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About the CBRNE Glossary

Building a common understanding of key terms is the first step to develop cross-border cooperation in any area. For this reason, one of the actions included in the EU CBRN Action Plan, adopted in 2009, was to develop information tools for CBRN security. Apart from a web-portal in which good practices on CBRN security could be shared and establishing various information exchange systems, the Action Plan called for the establishment of a database of resources which would contain applicable information on the nature of high-risk CBRN materials and their handling.

In 2013, the Commission presented the first version of the Glossary. Following comments from various stakeholders, the Glossary has been widened and updated. Moreover, in line with the recent policy developments, the Commission decided to include also terms related to the area of explosives. This Glossary is accompanied by an application for smartphones and tablets which could be used not only by first-responders, but also as an awareness raising tool.

The European Commission's aim is to achieve a common understanding of terms related to CBRN-E area. The Glossary is to be used not only in the European Union, but also outside its borders, e.g. during the implementation of the EU CBRN Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence Initiative. We therefore strongly believe that it will facilitate work of all people involved in CBRN-E-related activities in the EU and elsewhere.

Mr Vladimír Šucha
Director General
European Commission
Joint Research Centre

Mr Matthias Ruete
Director General
European Commission
DG Migration and Home Affairs


The Glossary is a list of more than 800 entries established in cooperation with EUROPOL by a group of experts for chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear, explosive and managerial issues.

The glossary is dedicated to practitioners in chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear as well as explosive (CBRNE) issues in protection and response in the European Union, the accession countries and EFTA states.

This version of the glossary is based on the previous EU CBRN Glossary which fulfilled one of the actions of EU CBRN action plan of 2009.

As some Member State authorities as well as single users asked for more entries and more in depth information, the JRC together with experts established a new version. The number of entries and content are trifold. The Glossary has better IT tools. We added the Croatian language.

Based on the request of the EU Council for a revised policy on a CBRNE agenda, the scope of the glossary was enlarged to include explosive substances and related issues as well.

Legal Disclaimer (English only):

This tool was established in cooperation of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission and DG HOME. The information given is purely informative and has been prepared with due care to the best of the knowledge. However, this information is not necessarily comprehensive, complete, accurate or up to date. The Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the information on this site.

This information is not a professional or legal advice. The JRC cannot be held liable for any wrong decisions based on this tool. The JRC does make any warranty that the use of any information disclosed in the document does not infringe any privately owned intellectual property rights. Please note that it cannot be guaranteed that a document available on-line exactly reproduces an officially adopted text.

This tool does not replace or interfere with any national, regional or local decision procedures scoping with a CBRN event.

It is our goal to minimize disruption caused by technical errors. However, some data or information on our site may have been created or structured in files or formats that are not error-free and we cannot guarantee that our service will not be interrupted or otherwise affected by such problems. The Commission accepts no responsibility with regard to such problems incurred as a result of using this site or any linked external sites.

If you access the CBRNE tool, you agree with Legal Disclaimer.

The policy on "protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions" is based on Regulation (EC) N° 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000.

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Version: 2.3.1-1 debian
Build date: 09/04/2019
Database: 7856 - 2016-04-29 13:23:48.916678