This paper reports on a qualitative study commissioned by the European Union (EU) and intended to help to improve strategic, pan-European security dialogue and partnership between the private and public sectors. The study draws on interviews with security managers at European level and on a reading of relevant EU policy documents. Most consultees argued for a "trusted forum", in which security professionals would trade their knowledge and expertise, rather than "representing" specific private firms or state agencies. As the study was being conducted, there was a political tilt in "ownership" within the European Commission, the public-private security dossier being relinquished by its Directorate General for Justice Freedom and Security (Third Pillar) and being gained by DG Enterprise and Industry (First Pillar). Scanning the policy context, the paper suggests that security cooperation, hitherto conceptualised as public-private (public sector lead), should be understood as private-public, as security serves economic concerns.
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