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The task of improving the effectiveness of public safety communications has become a main priority for governments. This is partly motivated by the increased risk of natural disasters such as flooding, earthquakes, and fires, and partly due to the risks and consequent impact of terrorist attacks. This article focuses on the experience from the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme project known as EULER, which seeks to demonstrate the benefits of software defined radio technology to support the resolution of natural disasters of significant stature, which require the participation of different public safety and military organizations, potentially of different nations. In such scenarios, the presence of interoperability barriers in the disaster area is a major challenge because different organizations may use different wireless communication systems. In this context, the main aspect investigated in EULER is the definition of a common waveform that respects the software communications architecture constraints, and guarantees maximum portability across SDR platforms. This article discusses a range of issues that have been identified thus far within the EULER project; in particular, the perceived pan-European interoperability needs of public safety, and coordination with military devices and networks. Aspects of interoperability are also extended to the three dimensions of platform, waveform, and information assurance.