European drone legislation shows major voids


Drones have a bright future ahead of them. As the technology gets better and cheaper, all kinds of new applications come into view, but there are plenty problems on the horizon too. This calls for new legislation and regulation, but in many EU countries that is lacking completely. So be careful if you take your brand new drone on vacation abroad this summer. Chantal Lavallée of the Institute for European Studies at Vrije Universiteit Brussel researches how the European Commission can take the lead in this matter.


Scientific research into remotely piloted aircraft systems, better known as drones, is limited to military use up to now. Yet in the meantime the civilian use of these devices increases rapidly. Drones are currently already utilised for surveillance tasks, for collecting data and increasingly for transportation. This rapid evolution risks raising social and operational problems, e.g. in terms of privacy and security. Just think how you would not like to be spied upon in your own backyard by someone unknown. And drones can deliver packages, but also bombs. It is even not unthinkable that a drone would get tangled up in an airplane engine.

Be careful if you take your drone on vacation abroad this summer.

Commission want more power in the field of security

Within the framework of the Marie Curie Fellowship researcher Chantal Lavallée of the Institute for European Studies at Vrije Universiteit Brussel now studied how the European Commission attempts to initiate legislation in this new terrain, that de facto is not part of her jurisdiction. Dr. Lavallée wants to analyse the strategy that the Commission applies to align all stakeholders - legislators, interest groups, constructors and users. Following up on her previous research Lavallée furthermore wants to map how the Commission can translate its involvement in the drone matter into security questions of both civil and military nature. "I am convinced that the European Commission can be a real game-changer when it comes to drones," according to Lavallée.

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