Commission proposes ‘operational arm’ of European Cyber Shield

The European Commission laid out on Wednesday (23 June) its vision for a Joint Cyber Unit to tackle evolving cyberthreats and to increase European resilience.

The Joint Cyber Unit will serve as a platform for cooperation for cybersecurity communities across the EU, enabling them to draw on each other’s support and to create a cybersecurity shield to detect cyberthreats before they can cause damage.

“The Joint Cyber Unit is a very important step for Europe to protect its governments, citizens and businesses from global cyberthreats,” said EU High Representative Josep Borrell, presenting the plan.

“When it comes to cyberattacks, we are all vulnerable and that is why cooperation at all levels is crucial,” he added.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen put the establishment of a Joint Cyber Unit on her agenda to facilitate information sharing between member states when she first entered office in 2019, stating in her political guidelines that “digitalisation and cybersecurity are two sides of the same coin.”

Since then digitalisation has rapidly accelerated, sped on by the coronavirus pandemic, leaving the EU’s private and public sectors increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.

The number and ferocity of cyberattacks have skyrocketed in the last year, with the most recent example being the full-scale attack in Belgium, which affected more than 200 organisations.

p/o Virginie Gastine Menou

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