With one of the key values of the European Union (EU) being to build and promote a model of an open, free, secure and peaceful cyberspace,
it is in the strategic interests of the EU to expand the global community of cybersecurity expertise based on the vision of the EU in the digital sphere and the values of the union. Cyber capacity building – training, policy and legislation development efforts that cover a broad range of issues, from raising awareness, setting up legal framework and technical Computer Emergency Response Teams to countering cybercrime – stems from the constantly developing cyber threat picture that affects every country worldwide.
The need to advance EU’s cybersecurity and countering-cybercrime -related capacity-building efforts abroad was first highlighted in the 2013 EU Cybersecurity Strategy: An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace. The Strategy invited the European Commission to recognise the need to develop cybersecurity capacity-building initiatives with a focus on police and judicial cooperation in third countries and to advance coordination among relevant stakeholders in order to avoid duplication of efforts. Following the global malware attacks in the spring of 2017, unprecedented in both their scale and nature, the then-Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the European Commission and the European Parliament later that year agreed on the 2017 Joint Communication “Resilience, Deterrence, Defence: Building Strong Cybersecurity for the EU”, calling for the creation of a EU Cyber Capacity Building Network (EU CyberNet) that would support the ongoing and future cyber capacity building efforts of the EU in third countries.
This call was echoed on 26 June 2018 when the Council of the EU in its conclusions on EU External Cyber Capacity Building Guidelines welcomed the proposal to set up an EU External Cyber Capacity Building Network to mobilise the collective expertise of EU Member States for EU-funded external cyber capacity building programmes, support effective coordination of EU-funded external cyber capacity building activities, and increase training opportunities. Digitalisation cannot be successful without due attention to cybersecurity and this proves the necessity for the EU CyberNet project.
Empowered by institutional support, the EU CyberNet was formally established in 2019 with the objective to help fill cyber capacity gaps as well as to create a mechanism to support and develop EU’s own expertise in the critical areas of cyber resilience and countering cybercrime. The network connects the cybersecurity experts, the competent organisations and the EU’s ongoing and future efforts in cyber capacity building, while also improving coordination between them and thus achieving a better overview of the EU-wide expertise in an area of increasing importance for any country.
Launched in 2019, EU CyberNet is set to achieve four major deliverables over a period of four years.
We strengthen the global delivery, coordination and coherence of the EU’s external cyber capacity building projects with a network of experts.