The European Council has announced that the European Union is stepping up its protection against cybersecurity threats, and is discussing a new structure of European cybersecurity centres.
The European Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee have granted a mandate to the Romanian presidency to start discussions with the European Parliament regarding the establishment of a top knowledge base for cybersecurity and a network of national cybersecurity coordination centres. These are called the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Centre and the Network of National Coordination Centres.
The new cybersecurity structures
The aims of the cybersecurity structures outlined by the European Council are:
- The Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Centre to enhance the coordination of cybersecurity research and innovation, and as the main EU instrument for investment in cybersecurity research, technology and industrial development; and
- The Cybersecurity Competence Network made up of National Coordination Centres designated by member states, with access to technological expertise in cybersecurity.
The Romanian presidency
Alexandru Petrescu, Minister for Communications and Information Society of Romania, President of the Council, commented: “It is in the EU’s strategic interest to ensure we have the capacities and capabilities needed to protect our networks and digital services. Structured pooling and sharing of research capacities and rolling out of innovative cybersecurity solutions will give a real push to the competitiveness of the EU’s cybersecurity industry in relation to global players.”
Reforming European cybersecurity
The European Union has previously called for strong cybersecurity measures, and specificially have called for restrictive measures able to respond to and deter cyber attacks.
It said: “The European Union aims to strengthen its cybersecurity rules in order to tackle the increasing threat posed by cyber attacks as well as to take advantage of the opportunities of the new digital age.”
According to the European Commission:
- 51% of European citizens feel uninformed on cyber threats
- 69% of companies have basic or no understanding of their exposure to cyber risks