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European Union Strategy for Cyber Security

The European Commission, together with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, published on 7 February 2013 a cybersecurity strategy alongside a Commission proposed directive on network and information security (NIS).

The cybersecurity strategy – "An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace" - represents the EU's comprehensive vision on how best to prevent and respond to cyber disruptions and attacks. This is to further European values of freedom and democracy and ensure the digital economy can safely grow. Specific actions are aimed at enhancing cyber resilience of information systems, reducing cybercrime and strengthening EU international cyber-security policy and cyber defence.

The strategy articulates the EU's vision of cyber-security in terms of five priorities:

  • Achieving cyber resilience
  • Drastically reducing cybercrime
  • Developing cyber defence policy and capabilities related to the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)
  • Developing the industrial and technological resources for cyber-security
  • Establishing a coherent international cyberspace policy for the European Union and promoting core EU values

The European Defence Agency gave input to the strategy related to cyber defence. Within the Common Security and Defence Policy, the European Defence Agency is developing cyber defence capabilities and technologies, improving cyber defence training & exercises. Given that threats are multifaceted, synergies between civilian and military approaches in protecting critical cyber assets are sought to be enhanced.

The EU is also promoting early involvement of industry and academia in developing solutions and in strengthening Europe’s Defence Industrial Base and associated R&D innovations in both civilian and military organizations. The EDA promotes civil-military dialogue and contributes to the coordination between all actors at EU level – with particular emphasis on the exchange of good practices, information exchange and early warning, incident response, risk assessment and establishing a cyber-security culture. 

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Picture copyright: European Commission, from left to right: Neelie Kroes, Catherine Ashton and Cecilia Malmström during the press conference on 7 February 2013