The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Telecom call on cybersecurity has just closed. 49 project proposals have been submitted by transport and energy companies, ICT firms, ministries and national organisations from 19 EU Member States. The applicants are proposing an overall investment of 28 million euros to improve their operational capabilities in cybersecurity, of which 18.3 million euros have been requested to be co-financed by the European Union. The EU budget dedicated for this call was 13 million euros.

Visual presenting some basic information about the 2018 CEF Telecom Call

This strong demand for support from the European Union (EU) is a recognition of the challenges arising from a changing cyber threat landscape. It also validates the European Commission’s focus on cybersecurity as a strategic policy priority. The resulting investments in improved security infrastructure and operations will contribute to a resilient and safe Digital Single Market. The Digital Europe Programme, proposed by the European Commission for the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, is anticipated to build on this work as the EU scales up its responses and measures to deal with the growing cyber threats.

The 2018-3 CEF Telecom cybersecurity call is underpinned by the EU approach for cybersecurity. It supports the EU preparedness to deal with cyber threats, in line with the 2017 Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council on building strong cybersecurity for the EU, facilitating the full implementation of the Directive on security of network and information systems (NIS Directive, 2016/1148).

Previous CEF cybersecurity calls in 2016 and 2017 focused on improving cybersecurity capabilities of specific stakeholders of the NIS Directive: national and governmental Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) – entities that provide services to handle cybersecurity incidents and support their constituents to recover from incidents. This call opened up also to additional stakeholders under the NIS Directive: operators of essential services and digital service providers, as well national authorities competent for cybersecurity and single points of contact.

In addition, this call addressed broader cybersecurity aspects such as strengthening cross-border cooperation on cybersecurity operations and in the area of connected automated mobility.

The received project proposals will now be evaluated and the first projects are expected to start by summer 2019.