EU Policy on Cyber Defence

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Series Details JOIN (2022) 49
Publication Date 10/11/2022
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Joint Communication adopted by the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, setting out a common approach in the European Union (EU) aimed at enhancing cooperation and investments in cyber defence.

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Russia's invasion of Ukraine worked as a wake-up call for all questioning the EU's approach to security and defence, its ability to promote its vision and defend its interests, including in cyberspace. Malicious behaviour emanating from both state and non-state actors intensified over the last years, including a growing number of cyberattacks targeting military and civilian critical infrastructure in the EU as well as in deployed missions and operations. The lines between civilian and military dimensions of cyberspace have been blurred, which also illustrates the interdependency between physical and digital infrastructure.

This Joint Communication - which builds on the Cyber Defence Policy Framework - proposes a strategy aimed at allowing the EU and its Member States to act with self-assurance and assertiveness in cyberspace. It aims to boost cyber defence capabilities through the individual or joint action of Member States, and to strengthen coordination and cooperation between the EU cyber communities. It also seeks to reduce he EU’s strategic dependencies in critical cyber technologies and strengthen the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB). It is hoped the policy sets the EU's rules of the game and puts forward ways to reinforce solidarity at the heart of the EU in the sphere of cyber defence, as well as cooperation with the private sector. It also envisages the development of mutually beneficial and tailored partnerships in the area of cyber defence, including cyber defence capacity building, and enhance the partner countries’ cyber resilience.

This Joint Communication was adopted on 10 November 2022, as part of a Security and Defence Package. It addresses the priorities set out by the Strategic Compass for Security and Defence. It is aligned with the priorities set out by the European Commission's 2020 EU Cybersecurity Strategyand other initiatives such as the Joint Communication on defence investment gaps. It addresses the conclusions adopted by the Council of the European Union on the EU's cyber posture.

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Related Links
Reuters, 10/11/2022: EU proposes cyber defence plan as concerns about Russia mount
Politico, 10/11/2022: EU wants joint cyber defense to counter Russian hacks
Euronews, 10/11/2022: Brussels calls for faster military mobility and stronger cyber defence
EurActiv, 11/11/2022: EU sets out plan for Cyber Defence Policy

European Commission: Policies: Cybersecurity Policies
European Commission: Press Release, 10/11/2022: Cyber Defence: EU boosts action against cyber threats
European Commission: Questions and Answers: The EU Policy on Cyber Defence (10 November 2022)
European Commission: Press conference on the Security and Defence Package (10 November 2022)
EPP EP Group: Newsroom, 10/11/2022: A boost for the EU's cyber resilience

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