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Cyberspace is like the physical world. It offers great opportunities, politically and economically, but unfortunately, it is also a space where state and non-state actors breach the rule of law, misuse technology to advance their political agendas. The threat is real, it evolves constantly and it becomes everyday more important.
Last year, 2019, there were 450 incidents involving European critical infrastructures, including the finance and energy sector. With the [coronavirus] pandemic the threat has become more prominent. Only last week, the European Medicines Agency was attacked.
With this new Cybersecurity Strategy that we are putting forward, we want to increase the chances to better protect governments, citizens and businesses from cyber threats and secure an open and stable Internet.
I will focus specially on the external [action] dimension as it corresponds to the High Representative for Foreign [Affairs] and Security Policy and I let my colleagues the Vice-President [for Promoting the European Way of Life, Margaritis] Schinas and Commissioner [for Internal Market] Thierry Breton to go deeper in the subject.
From the external [action] point of view, there are 20 new concrete proposals across five policy sectors, in order to contribute to make Europe stronger in the cyberspace.
First, we take forward a proposal for a Programme of Action within the United Nations to advance discussions on responsible state behaviour in cyberspace. Second, we will strengthen our ability to prevent, deter and respond to malicious behaviour in cyberspace.
For that, we will establish a cyber-intelligence working group within our European Union’s Intelligence Centre.
Third, we will work to ensure cyber defence cooperation, including between European Military Computer Emergency Response Teams (MilCERTs) and, among the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) project, the Cyber Rapid Response Teams should be fully operational. Also [see how] our CSDP missions can contribute to it.
Fourth, we will increase our work with third countries, regional and international organisations as well as with civil society and the private sector. We will set-up a Cyber Diplomacy Network through our Delegations.
Finally, we will provide more practical support to our partners, where necessary, to increase their cyber resilience. Our civilian missions will also contribute to that.
Do not forget that we already have a sanctions regime that has been used and it will be reinforced. We have used it two times, in July and in October, targeting 8 individuals and 4 entities.
I think it is going to bring a global, open, stable and secure cyberspace on the way that, I am sure, my colleagues will explain better than I.
Source: Delegation of the European Union to Swaziland