Brussels announces plans to defend itself from growing cyber threats

European Commissioner Vice-President Margrethe Vestager takes a photograph during a ceremony in the European Parliament, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022 in Strasbourg
European Commissioner Vice-President Margrethe Vestager takes a photograph during a ceremony in the European Parliament, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022 in Strasbourg Copyright Jean-Francois Badias/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Aida Sanchez Alonso
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The proposals will cost €1.1 billion.

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The European Commission announced plans on Tuesday to shield itself against cyber-attacks, as threats in this sector continue to grow.

The defence system will be based on the prevention and detection of cyberattacks thanks to a pan-European "cyber-shield" made up of public and private centres.

This will mean entrusting part of the bloc's defence to private companies and forcing member states to cooperate, which Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president of the European Commission, says is necessary. 

"No one can solve this alone. You cannot have sufficient resources ready because you don't know when maybe you will have an all-out cyberattack," Vestager said.

"We have seen cyberattacks, for example, on the Irish Health System. We have seen attacks where they go undiscovered for months, where there has been access to foreign ministries."

The EU will also put in place an emergency mechanism capable of responding to cyberattacks as and when they happen. This would include a pool of experts and certified companies to neutralise the threat.

Cecilia Bonefeld Dahl, the CEO of Digital Europe, believes that this type of collaboration will be key.

"There is no chance that the public sector will be able to do this themselves. They will never have access to the competencies that we have," she said in an interview with Euronews.

"This is really one area where we have totally overlapping interests to have a cyberspace and address hybrid threats in a common way."

The proposals will cost €1.1 billion, of which two-thirds will come from the EU budget. The plans will now be reviewed by member states and the European Parliament before entering into force.

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