The EU policy for civil drones: the challenge of governing emerging technologies

Chantal Lavallée

The extensive commercialisation of civil drones has made them accessible to a broad range of users for leisure, business-related, and professional activities. However, their growing number has also raised a series of societal concerns about this fast-evolving technology, related to security, safety, privacy, protection of personal data, liability and environmental issues. To mitigate these risks, and to allow their eventual safe integration into the European airspace, the European Commission has taken on a leadership role over the last years to set up a European policy framework for the civil use of drones. This IES Policy Brief examines the actions the Commission has undertaken to become a central regulator of this emerging technology in Europe.