The Council of the European Union has agreed to the European Commission’s proposed cyber security policy for the digital decade ahead.

The strategy outlines how the 27-member union can protect EU citizens and businesses from cyber threats, promote secure information systems and protect a global, open, free and secure cyberspace.

“The conclusions note that cybersecurity is essential for building a resilient, green and digital Europe. They set as a key objective achieving strategic autonomy while preserving an open economy,” a Council of the EU spokesperson said.

“This includes reinforcing the ability to make autonomous choices in the area of cybersecurity, with the aim to strengthen the EU’s digital leadership and strategic capacities.”

Cyber security is essential for building a resilient, green and digital Europe, according to the EC, which highlights areas for action in the coming years.

The measures agreed upon include:

  • creating a network of security operation centres across the EU to monitor and anticipate signals of attacks on networks
  • preventing and countering cyber-attacks which might affect supply chains, critical infrastructure, essential services, democratic institutions and processes, and undermine economic security;
  • establishing a joint cyber unit to provide clear focus to the EU’s cyber security crisis management;
  • applying and swiftly completing implementation of measures to guarantee security of 5G networks;
  • developing future network generations
  • accelerating uptake of key internet security standards to increase overall level of security and openness of the internet while increasing EU industry’s competitiveness; and
  • developing strong encryption to protect fundamental rights and digital security, while ensuring law enforcement and judicial authorities can exercise their powers.

The Council is now encouraging the Commission and the High Representative to establish a detailed implementation plan.

The Council will also monitor the progress in the implementation of the conclusions through an action plan which will be regularly reviewed and updated.

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