New EU cybersecurity strategy launched

A new cybersecurity strategy seeking to bolster Europe’s collective resilience against cyber threats and ensure the reliability of digital services and tools has been presented by the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on Wednesday.

The Commission said that the strategy seeks to safeguard a global and open internet whilst offering safeguards which would ensure security whilst protecting European values and fundamental rights.

“International security and stability depends more than ever on a global, open, stable and secure cyberspace where the rule of law, human rights, freedoms and democracy are respected,” High Representative Josep Borrell maintained. “With today’s strategy the EU is stepping up to protect its governments, citizens and businesses from global cyber threats, and to provide leadership in cyberspace, making sure everybody can reap the benefits of the Internet and the use of technologies.”

The strategy’s proposals for regulatory, investment and policy initiatives can be classified in three areas of EU action.

The first area is resilience, technological sovereignty and leadership, with the Commission seeking to reform rules on the security of network and information systems. It also proposes the launch of a network of security operation centres across the EU, which would be powered by AI and which constitute a “cybersecurity shield” for the entire EU.

The second priority area is the need to build operational capacity, to prevent, deter and respond to cyber threats, with the Commission seeking the creation of a new Joint Cyber Unit and the strengthening of the EU’s cyber diplomacy capabilities. In this area, the EU will also be encouraging member states to make full use of the permanent structured cooperation and of the European Defence Fund.

But the EU will also seek to advance a global and open cyberspace through increased cooperation, with the Commission stressing the need for the bloc to step up work with international partners to strengthen the rules-based global order, promote international security and stability in cyberspace, and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms online.