EU leaders aim at boosting defense and security, including cybersecurity

During a video conference of the members of the European Council, EU leaders agreed on a new strategy aimed at boosting defense and security. 

During the recent video conference of the members of the European Council (25-26 February 2021), NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg highlighted the importance to define a strategy to boost defense and security.

“We want to act more strategically, to defend our interests and to promote our values.” said Charles Michel, President of the European Council. “We will step up our cooperation and our coordination to combat hybrid threats and disinformation.”

Member states highlighted the importance of close cooperation with NATO and strengthening partnerships with the UN and key regional partners. The EU leaders emphasized that they looked forward to cooperating with the new US administration on a strong and ambitious transatlantic agenda that included a close dialogue on security and defence.

Participants are committed to providing secure European access to space, cyberspace and the high seas.

“In light of the growing number and complexity of cyber threats, we aim to strengthen European cyber resilience and responsiveness and to improve the cybersecurity crisis management framework. Following the Cybersecurity Strategy presented in December 2020, we invite the Commission and the High Representative to report on implementation by June 2021.” reads a statement from EU leaders. “In addition, we invite the co-legislators to swiftly take work forward, particularly on the revised Directive on security of network and information systems (NIS 2 Directive). We also call for greater cooperation and coordination to prevent and respond to hybrid threats, including disinformation, inter alia by involving the private sector and relevant international actors.”

EU leaders invited the Commission and the High Representative, Josep Borrell, to work on the implementation of the Cybersecurity Strategy by June 2021.

The 27 leaders discussed on how to increase the resilience of their infrastructure to cyberattacks and hybrid threats.

“Second, we face new kinds of threats, cyber, hybrid, and disinformation. And we need to strengthen our resilience, we also need to adapt our tools.”” Michel added.

The participants were concerned about the risks associated with cyberattacks and the rise of China.

“The EU efforts are going hand in hand with the military efforts across the continent,” said Stoltenberg. “For NATO, the main task during this pandemic has been to make sure that a health crisis doesn’t turn into a security crisis, because the threats we are faced with before the pandemic, they are still there: Russia’s aggressive actions, more brutal forms of terrorism, sophisticated cyber attacks, the rise of China and the security implications of climate change.”

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, security)

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