The European Security Union aims to
- ensure that EU security policy reflects the changing threats landscape
- build long-term, sustainable resilience
- engage the EU institutions and agencies, governments, the private sector and individuals in a whole-of-society approach
- bring together the many policy areas with a direct impact on security.
On 16 December 2020 the Commission presented the new EU Cybersecurity Strategy. It is designed to bolster Europe’s collective resilience against cyber threats and help to ensure that all citizens and businesses can fully benefit from trustworthy and reliable digital services and tools. This strategy is a key component of Shaping Europe’s Digital Future, the Recovery Plan for Europe and the EU Security Union Strategy.
At the same time, the Commission issued proposals to address both cyber and physical resilience of critical entities and networks with a Proposal for directive on measures for high common level of cybersecurity across the Union (revised NIS Directive) and a new Directive on the resilience of critical entities.
The EU Security Union Strategy
The European Commission has set out a new EU Security Union Strategy to protect everyone in the EU and promote our European way of life. The strategy covers the period from 2020 to 2025 and focuses on priority areas where the EU can help Member States in fostering security for all those living in Europe, while respecting our European values and principles.
On 9 December 2020, the Commission presented a first progress report on the implementation of the Strategy.
The 4 pillars of the strategy
The strategy lays out the tools and measures to be developed over the next five years to ensure security in our physical and digital environments. It is composed of four strategic priorities for action at EU level and will draw heavily on the work of the EU agencies.
A future-proof security environment
In our daily lives, we rely on key online and offline infrastructure to travel, work or to benefit from essential public services. The EU helps Member States to achieve both stronger physical protection and adequate detection systems.
Tackling evolving threats
Criminals increasingly exploit technological developments for their own purposes. The EU helps Member States to equip their law enforcement authorities with the right tools to detect criminals and bring them to justice.
Protecting Europeans from terrorism and organised crime
The threat of terrorism remains high in the EU. Organised crime continues to rise and is increasingly operating across borders. The EU and its Agencies help Member States to step up the fight against terrorism and organised crime by providing new tools for effective law enforcement.
A strong European security ecosystem
A genuine and effective Security Union must be a common endeavour. The EU can help to bring together law enforcement, judicial authorities, governments, citizens and the private sector in a common effort. The EU’s capacity to innovate is also a strategic tool to counter current threats and to anticipate both future risks and opportunities.
The Security Union concept was first introduced in the 2016 European Commission Communication “Paving a way towards an effective and genuine Security Union”.
This concept was built on the 2015 European Agenda on Security. It proposed a new approach based on shared responsibility between the European Union and the EU countries. To lead the process, a dedicated Security Union Commissioner portfolio was created in September 2016, assisted by a task force that drew on the expertise of the entire European Commission.
In 2019, this portfolio was entrusted to the Vice-President for promoting our European way of life.