Scientific advice in the area of cybersecurity

Scientific advice in the area of cybersecurity has been requested by Vice President Ansip and Commissioner Oettinger during the SAM High Level Group first meeting on 29 January 2016. The corresponding scoping paper outlines the issues at stake, the EU policy landscape and the potential areas for scientific advice to inform policy-making.

Acknowledging the broader scope of the cybersecurity topic, the SAM High Level Group agreed at its second meeting on 17 March 2016 to focus its work on the question of Digital Identities for a Digital Single Market. The cybersecurity opinion is foreseen in early 2017.

Scientific Output

Policy Impact

SAM HLG Scientific Opinion on Cybersecurity in the European Digital Single Market recognised as one of the main inputs for the Commission’s next steps on cybersecurity

On 13 September 2017 the European Commission presented to the European Parliament and to the European Council its Communication paper - "Resilience, Deterrence and Defence: Building strong cybersecurity for the EU" - where it presents the approach and next steps for Cybersecurity in the EU.

The SAM HLG Scientific Opinion on Cybersecurity in the European Digital Single Market, delivered to the Commission in March 2017, has been clearly recognised as one of the main reference points for the future of EU policy making on cybersecurity.

The Communication states that "The approach [ set out in this joint Communication] is also substantiated by independent scientific advice provided by the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism High Level Group of scientific advisors (see references below)" (page 3).

The Cybersecurity Communication makes a number of references to the SAM HLG Opinion, including "duty of care", reducing vulnerabilities, fast repair, testing, verification and long term maintenance (p. 5 -6), barriers to sharing of information on cyber incidents between public and private sectors and issues of trust (p.7), protecting fundamental rights such as freedom of expression as well as personal data and strong encryption (p. 9 -10).


Related topic activities

Stakeholders Meeting – Brussels, 13 February 2017

SAM: Cybersecurity Stakeholder meeting - Brussels, 13 February 2017

On the afternoon of 13 February 2017, the HLG working group on cybersecurity (Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Pearl Dykstra, Janusz Bujnicki and Cédric Villani) held a meeting with stakeholders in Brussels. It was attended by around 40 participants from various civil society & consumer organisations, businesses, as well as some policy representatives (see full list of participants published below).

The draft findings, observations and recommendations which will form the basis of the HLG's Scientific Opinion on 'Cybersecurity in the European Digital Single Market' were presented to the stakeholders by Pearl Dykstra following a general presentation of SAM by the HLG Chair - Rolf-Dieter Heuer. Subsequently, the floor was opened to collect reactions, comments and questions from the stakeholders. Many helpful and constructive suggestions were made on the presentations both on the overall set of findings as well as on specific points. The four HLG members took note of the points raised and answered queries and questions of clarification raised by the participants. The meeting concluded by Rolf-Dieter Heuer thanking the participants for their time and comments. The Opinion is planned to be finalised by end March 2017.



Workshop on Cybersecurity - Vilnius, 25-26 October 2016

SAM: Workshop on Cybersecurity - Vilnius, 25-26 October 2016

As part of the evidence-gathering process, the High Level Group organised a multidisciplinary workshop on Cybersecurity - Secure digital identities for the digital single market in Europe.

Experts from academia, governmental bodies, civil society and the private sector reaching around 75 participants interactively discussed and responded to a series of questions.

The outcome of the workshop will contribute to the SAM High Level Group's opinion.

This event took place in Vilnius, Lithuania on 25-26 October 2016 and was hosted by the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences.



Technical visit to JRC laboratory, Ispra 4 Mars, 2016