Against a backdrop of increasingly complex cyber threats, senior officials from NATO and the European Union (EU) met today (25 November 2016) to discuss the next practical steps in NATO-EU cooperation on cyber defence.
“NATO and the EU are working more closely in this area than ever – sharing information between cyber crisis response teams, exchanging best practices, policy updates and working together on training, education and exercises” said Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges.
The high-level staff dialogue featured updates on recent developments such as NATO’s Cyber Defence Pledge and the implementation of the EU’s Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive. Proposals for increased cooperation were also discussed in areas such as information exchange. This increasingly coordinated effort is helping both organisations to better defend against cyber-attacks and enhance their resilience, which is critical in order to counter hybrid threats.
“The EU and NATO have a shared interest in becoming more cyber resilient. Coordinating on cyber security and defence will facilitate the protection of the critical networks on which we depend” said Pedro Serrano, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service.
Earlier this year, NATO and the EU concluded a Technical Arrangement on Cyber Defence, which provides a framework for sharing best practices between NATO’s Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC) and the Computer Emergency Response Team of the European Union (CERT-EU). Exercises are another area where NATO and the EU are working more closely together – in a few days, representatives from the EU will join NATO and national cyber defence experts in the Alliance’s annual Cyber Coalition Exercise in Estonia.
Cyber defence is one of the areas in which NATO and the EU decided to step up their cooperation as part of the NATO-EU Joint Declaration at the NATO Summit in Warsaw this summer. In December, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, will present to NATO and EU Ministers concrete proposals for turning this cooperation into reality.
L. J. De Rothschild