EU-flash: The Estonian presidency & Cybersecurity

10/07/2017

Over the next 6 months, the Estonian presidency will focus on 4 important areas: an open and innovative European economy, a safe Europe, a digital Europe and free movement of data, and an inclusive and sustainable Europe. As announced in the interim evaluation of the digital single market, the European Commission will increase its efforts to close the gaps in the current cybersecurity framework.

Below you can find a brief summary of these topics.

Presentation of the programme of activities of the Estonian Presidency

On 5 July 2017, the Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas presented the aims and priorities of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, to members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The Prime Minister stressed that Europeans want and deserve a union that is strong, decisive and delivers.

The four priorities that the Estonian Presidency will focus on over the next 6 months are:

  • an open and innovative European Economy: the business environment must be transparent, simple and free of red tape. The presidency is focused on ensuring a stable banking sector, taking forward the Services Package, and we stand ready to reform EU company law
  • an inclusive and sustainable Europe: because of the changing society and the influence of technology, the very nature of work is changing. Remote working in a digital economy means an employer and an employee may never actually meet in person. Skills must meet the needs of future jobs, be it building self-driving cars or designing virtual reality experiences. Focus on ways in which the EU can offer equal opportunities and conditions for people.
  • a safe and secure Europe:
  • a digital Europe and the free movement of data: A political debate in Europe on the free movement of data as the fifth freedom of the EU will be started. Together with Bulgaria and Austria, the Presidency is committed to delivering a digital single market in 2018. A critical aspect of a functioning digital society is trust. Europe should be a safe place where rules respecting privacy, data protection and digital identity are vital. As seen from the recent global cyber-attacks, the Estonian presidency will encourage the use of IT solutions in daily life, including our health, justice, and financial systems.

About Brexit

The Estonian Prime minister Jüri Ratas stated that the negotiations about Brexit need to be conducted in a constructive spirit, tackling first, the citizens' rights, the financial settlement, and the border in Ireland. The Presidency's task is also to make sure that EU27 continues to work, and continues to deliver for our future. The Estonian Presidency will not let Brexit negotiations dominate our work or prevent us from achieving results.

Full speech.

The Estonian Presidence working programme.

European Commission accelerates measures to prevent the cyber threat

On 29 June 2017, the European Commission presented the 8th report on progress made towards an effective and genuine Security Union.

As announced in the Digital Single Market mid-term review, the Commission is accelerating its work to close the gaps in the current cybersecurity framework. A number of short-term and operational actions should be taken to strengthen the response to the increased cyber threat as a part of wider review of the 2013 Cybersecurity Strategy that will follow in September.

  • Boosting systems and networks - the Commission will provide an additional €10.8 million in funding to 14 Member States under the Connecting Europe Facility to strengthen the network of national Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT network). The European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), which led the law enforcement response to the WannaCry attack, should be equipped by Europol with further IT expertise.
  • Criminal Justice - the Commission is looking into possible legislative action to improve cross border access to electronic evidence. The Commission is also examining the challenges posed by the use of encryption by criminals and will report on its findings by October 2017.

Next to these actions, also measures to counter radicalisation and to enhance the interoperability of information systems have been proposed.

More information.

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