MEPs Push for Common EU Cyber Defense Capabilities

EU | October 7, 2021, Thursday // 20:56|  views

ESA/Daniel Mesple

MEPs call for a comprehensive set of measures and a coherent security policy in the field of information technology, as well as for improved military coordination in the field of cyber defense in order to strengthen the EU's cyber resilience.

• Establishment of a joint cyber link for timely sharing of information within the EU

• Joint responses to cyberattacks and the imposition of sanctions against hostile entities

• Systemic aggressive behavior, particularly from China, Russia and North Korea

A common cyber defense policy and significant EU cooperation on cyber capabilities are among the key issues needed to develop a deep and strong European Defense Union, MEPs said in a report adopted on Thursday with 591 votes in favor, 65 "Against" and 26 "abstained".

Recalling that in hеr speech on the state of the Union in 2021, the President of the Commission stressed the need for an EU cyber defense policy, MEPs insisted that it was essential to overcome the current fragmentation and complexity of the EU's comprehensive cyber architecture and to develop a common vision for online security and stability.

Parliament recommends the creation of a joint cyber link to improve the exchange of information between EU institutions, bodies and agencies and to promote a secure and fast information network.


The EU must become technologically independent, innovate and invest more

Noting that cyber technologies are often dual-use (civilian and military), MEPs welcome the Commission's action plan on synergies between the civilian, defense and space industries. Unlike other military areas, cyberspace infrastructure is largely owned by private companies based largely outside EU jurisdiction. As a result, EU countries become industrially and technologically dependent on third countries. That is why MEPs warn that the EU must become more technology-independent, stimulate innovation and invest more in cybersecurity capabilities and staff.

The report also calls for joint and coordinated responses to cyberattacks, which must include NATO, so that these responses can lead to sanctions against hostile entities that threaten the interests of Euro-Atlantic security. MEPs are also concerned about the systemic aggressive behavior demonstrated in particular by China, Russia and North Korea in cyberspace, including numerous cyberattacks against government institutions and private companies. The report also cites the Pegasus spy scandal as an example of how large numbers of journalists, human rights activists, elected officials and other EU citizens have been spied on.

Rapporteur Urmas Paet (Renew Europe, Estonia) said: “The last few years have seen a steady increase in malicious cyber operations. The EU and its Member States must strengthen their defense capabilities to respond successfully to these cyber threats. It is therefore crucial to strengthen cooperation between Member States and EU institutions, NATO, the US and other strategic partners.

/Press Release European Parliament

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Tags: MEP., European parliament., EP., european union., eu., president., measures., security policy., cyber defense., cybersecurity., information technology., cybber resilience., capabilities


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