23 november 2017
The General Affairs Council today adopted conclusions calling for the strengthening of European cybersecurity and enhancing cyber resilience across the EU, in line with the tasking from the European Council in October 2017.
The conclusions stress the need for all EU countries to make the necessary resources and investment available to address cybersecurity. They welcome the intention of increasing EU efforts in cybersecurity research and development by setting up a network of cybersecurity competence centres across the Union.
The Council also backs the plan to set up a world-class European cybersecurity certification framework to increase trust in digital solutions. The conclusions highlight the important connection between trust in digital Europe and achieving cyber resilience across the EU. Significant attention is paid to the strength of cryptography used in products and services within the digital single market.
Other measures highlighted by the Council include providing the necessary law enforcement tools to tackle cybercrime, developing a coordinated EU-level response to large-scale cyber incidents and crises, and conducting pan-European cybersecurity exercises on a regular basis. Regarding the global and diplomatic aspects of cybersecurity, the Council recognises the importance of international cooperation and welcomes the creation of a clear framework for using the political, diplomatic and economic tools available to the EU as a response to malicious cyber activities.
"Cybercrime and state-sponsored malicious cyber activities are one of the largest global threats to our societies and economies. We already lose around €400 billion globally every year due to cyber-attacks. This clearly underlines the need for the EU to use the available tools to increase stability in cyberspace and respond to large-scale cyber incidents. The EU simply has to stay ahead of the game,” said Matti Maasikas, Estonia's Deputy Minister for European Affairs and chair of today's Council meeting. “Increasing our efforts and investment in cybersecurity is a pre-condition for building a strong and trusted digital single market for our citizens,” Maasikas added.