Cyber difesa, the EU parliament pushes for a common policy

A resolution adopted that aims to overcome the current fragmentation and complexity of the IT architecture by creating a joint unit. Yes to cooperation with NATO and the United States to face threats from China, Russia and North Korea

07 Oct 2021 Domenico Aliperto

A common cyber defense policy and EU-level cooperation to build common military cyber capabilities are essential elements for the development of a European Defense Union. This is said by the deputies of the Brussels Parliament, with a resolution adopted today. The text was approved with 591 votes in favor, 65 against and 26 abstentions.

In her 2021 State of the Union address, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stressed the need for an EU cyber defense policy. According to MEPs, it is essential to overcome the current fragmentation and complexity of the global IT architecture within the Union and to develop a common vision for achieving security and stability in cyberspace.

Parliament therefore recommends the establishment of a joint cyberspace unit that overcomes the lack of information sharing between EU institutions, bodies and agencies and guarantees a secure and rapid information network.

Index of topics

• Technological independence, innovation and investments

• Together with NATO to defend against China, Russia and North Korea

Technological independence, innovation and investments

Underlining the frequent "dual use" (civilian and military) nature of IT capabilities, MEPs welcome the Commission's action plan on synergies between civilian, defense and space industries. Unlike other military sectors, the infrastructure used to "create" cyberspace is largely managed by commercial entities based mainly outside the EU and this entails industrial and technological dependence on third parties. The Union should enhance its technological sovereignty, stimulate innovation and invest more in cyber defense capabilities and personnel.

Together with NATO to defend against China, Russia and North Korea

Furthermore, MEPs regard EU-NATO cyber cooperation as essential and call for joint and coordinated responses to cyber attacks, including sanctions against hostile actors. MEPs are also concerned about the aggressive systemic behavior shown in particular by China, Russia and North Korea, including numerous cyber-attacks against government institutions and private companies.

Finally, the resolution refers to the Pegasus spyware scandal as an example of an act of espionage that affected a large number of journalists, human rights activists, elected representatives and other EU citizens.

"In recent years there has been a continuous growth in malicious cyber operations," said the resolution's rapporteur Urmas Paet. "The Union and its member countries must strengthen their defense capabilities to successfully respond to these cyber threats. Therefore, it is of fundamental importance to strengthen cooperation between EU member states and institutions, NATO, the United States and other strategic partners. "



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