EUISS Chaillot Paper No. 155 (October 2019)

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Series Details Number 155
Publication Date October 2019
ISBN 978-92-9198-849-5
ISSN 1017-7566
EC QN-AA-19-005-EN-C
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Guardian of the galaxy: EU cyber sanctions and norms in cyberspace


This Chaillot Paper – which uses space exploration as a metaphor to demystify some of the concepts and challenges linked to cyber-related policymaking – focuses on the EU’s cyber sanctions regime. The newly-established regime represents a significant achievement in the EU’s ambition to defend the rules-based international order, and ensure broader global adherence to agreed norms of responsible behaviour in cyberspace. However, the growing complexity of cyber threats and the proliferation of malicious actors in the cyber domain indicate that the scale of the challenges ahead should not be underestimated.

The EU’s autonomous cyber sanctions regime constitutes a unique solution to the challenge of compliance with international law and norms of state behaviour. Taking account of the lessons derived from other sanctions regimes adopted by the EU in the past, the volume addresses a number of key issues relevant for ensuring the maximum effectiveness of the new regime. These include the problematic nature of attribution, state responsibility in cyberspace, listing and de-listing criteria, the principle of due diligence or the potential impact of cyber sanctions on the physical world.

Table of Contents:

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction | The heroine awakens: The EU as a sanctioning power
  • Ch 1 | Navigating the stars: Ten questions to make cyber sanctions mor effective
  • Ch 2 | Cyberspace debris: Sanctions and responsible state behaviour
  • Ch 3 | Space exploration: Mapping the EU's cyber sanctions regime
  • Ch 4 | Mission controls: Sanctions under international law
  • Ch 5 | Cosmis dust: Attribution and evidentiary standards
  • Ch 6 | Laws of gravitation: Due diligence obligations in cyberspace
  • Ch 7 | Multiple moons: Cyber sanctions and the role of the private sector
  • Ch 8 | Galactic collision: Cyber sanctions and real-world consequences
  • Conclusions | Escaping the black hole: Implementation of the EU's cyber sanctions
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