15 Nov, 2022

Liberals deliver for a stronger EU Cyber Defence

Margrethe Vestager, European Commission’s Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, presented on 10 November a European Cyber Defence Policy as part of a European Security and Defence package. She highlighted that the package constitutes a new step in developing EU defence capabilities to reinforce the European community’s ability to defend itself and its values.

“Russia’s war on Ukraine and the recent attacks on key parts of our infrastructure are wake-up calls. The Security & Defence package will step-up our military to move faster and to defend military & civilian assets from cyberattacks,” said Vestager.

She emphasized that while the external threats to our security get increasingly complex, the European Commission engaged to organize a more integrated and efficient coordination of defence between EU member states.

Vestager listed three key areas that will reinforce EU collective ability to address cyber threats, such as cooperation between member states' military, cooperation between civil and military, and cooperation between private and public sectors.

“There is no defence without a cyber defence. While the EU member states do a lot in this field, the European Commission can coordinate these efforts. It is very important for liberals to care about security, and in this approach very citizen has a role to play,” said Vestager.

Accordingly, on 10 November, the European Parliament adopted the revised Network and Information Security Directive (NIS2). The new security provisions set tighter cybersecurity obligations for risk management, reporting obligations and information sharing covering “essential sectors” such as the energy, transport, banking, health, digital infrastructure, public administration, and space sectors.

“This European directive is going to help around 160,000 entities tighten their grip on security and make Europe a safe place to live and work. Ransomware and other cyber threats have preyed on Europe for far too long. We need to act to make our businesses, governments, and society more resilient to hostile cyber operations,” said Bart Groothuis MEP (VVD, NL), European Parliament rapporteur of NIS2 Directive. 

The European Cyber Defence Policy as well as NIS2 Directive constitute a realization of the ALDE Party policy concerning the cyber defence, confirmed in “A liberal response to current and emerging cyber threats” resolution adopted during 2022 Dublin Congress.

Photo credit: Xavier Lejeune, European Commission 2022

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