The European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy presented a new EU Cybersecurity Strategy. The aim of this strategy is to bolster Europe’s collective resilience against cyber threats and ensure that all citizens and businesses can fully benefit from trustworthy and reliable services and digital tools. This includes the ever-increasing number of connected and automated objects in our homes, offices and factories.

Towards a new Cybersecurity Strategy

The digital transformation of society, intensified by the COVID-19 crisis, has expanded the threat landscape and is bringing about new challenges, which require adapted and innovative responses. The number of cyber-attacks continues to rise, with increasingly sophisticated attacks coming from a wide range of sources both inside and outside the EU.

The EU should therefore be leading the efforts for a secure digitalisation. It should be driving norms for world-class solutions and standards of cybersecurity for essential services and critical infrastructures, as well as driving the development and application of new technologies. Governments, businesses and citizens will all share a responsibility in ensuring a cyber-secure digital transformation. 

What is the strategy about?

The strategy describes how the EU can harness and strengthen all its tools and resources to be technologically sovereign. It also lays out how the EU can step up its cooperation with partners around the world who share our values of democracy, rule of law and human rights.

This technological sovereignty needs to be founded on the resilience of all connected services and products. All the four cybercommunities – those concerned with the internal market, with law enforcement, diplomacy and defence – need to work more closely towards a shared awareness of threats. They should be ready to respond collectively when an attack materializes, so that the EU can be greater than the sum of its parts.

The strategy covers the security of essential services such as hospitals, energy grids, railways and the ever-increasing number of connected objects in our homes, offices and factories.  The strategy aims to build collective capabilities to respond to major cyberattacks. It also outlines plans to work with partners around the world to ensure international security and stability in cyberspace. Moreover, it outlines how a Joint Cyber Unit can ensure the most effective response to cyber threats using the collective resources and expertise available to Member States and the EU.

Main aim of the strategy

The new strategy aims to ensure a global and open Internet with strong safeguards where there are risks to security and the fundamental rights of people in Europe. Following the progress achieved under the previous strategies, it contains concrete proposals for deploying three principal instruments. These three instruments are regulatory, investment and policy initiatives. They will address three areas of EU action:

  1. resilience, technological sovereignty and leadership;
  2. operational capacity to prevent, deter and respond;
  3. cooperation to advance a global and open cyberspace.

The EU is committed to supporting this strategy through an unprecedented level of investment in the EU's digital transition over the next seven years. This would quadruple previous levels of investment.  It demonstrates the EU’s commitment to its new technological and industrial policy and the recovery agenda.

The EU’s new Cybersecurity Strategy for the Digital Decade forms a key component of Shaping Europe’s Digital Future, the Commission’s Recovery Plan for Europe and of the Security Union Strategy 2020-2025.

Useful links

Press release

Memo

The Joint Communication on the EU's Cybersecurity strategy

Directive on the resilience of critical entities