The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), the European Defence Agency (EDA), Europol and the Computer Emergency Response Team for the EU Institutions, Agencies and Bodies (CERT-EU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a cooperation framework between their organisations on Wednesday 23 May.
The MoU aims to leverage synergies between the four organisations, promote cooperation on cyber-security and cyber-defence, and is a testament to the trusted partnership that exists between these EU agencies.
It focuses on five areas of cooperation: Exchange of information; Education & Training; Cyber exercises; Technical cooperation; and Strategic and administrative matters, plus allows for cooperation in other areas that may be identified as important.
The aim is to avoid duplication of effort and build on current ENISA, EDA, EUROPOL and CERT-EU synergies. High representative/vice-president and head of the European Defence Agency, Federica Mogherini commented in a press statement: "Cyber-space threats do not know of national borders. Cooperation among Member States but also at European level is therefore essential. Europe is stronger when it tackles threats together, in a common and coordinated approach. And this is exactly where this Memorandum of Understanding is key and where the added value of the European Union lies: working together, joining forces, putting the experiences and the knowledge of all at the service of our citizens' security.”
Vice-president for Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: "We can face cyber-threats successfully if we have in place a functioning exchange of information, we have strong technical capabilities and we work on basic cyber hygiene. Better cooperation between these EU agencies will lead to this result. "
Commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos adds: "... increasing cyber-security is one of the priorities of the European Union. But we can only do this effectively through stronger cooperation and joint actions, where our operational agencies, like Europol, can play a critical role with the expertise they bring to the table in support of our Member States. "
Commissioner for the security union Julian King said: "This improved collaboration between ENISA, EDA, EC3 and CERT-EU will help us to strengthen our cyber resilience, build effective deterrence and help deliver credible cyber-defence and international cooperation," with commissioner for digital economy and society, Mariya Gabriel adding,: “Only by working closely together will we have a chance to mitigate the cybersecurity risks."
Jorge Domecq, chief executive of the EDA said that the move will act as the military interface to EU policies, saying ”Today's Memorandum of Understanding is an important step towards increased civil-military cooperation and synergies in the area of cyber-security and cyber-defence."
The 2014 Cyber Defence Policy Framework called for the promotion of civil-military cooperation and synergies with wider EU cyber policies, relevant EU institutions and agencies as well as with the private sector. ENISA, EDA, EUROPOL and CERT-EU began initial discussions in 2016 which eventually led to this signing. The principles behind this Memorandum of Understanding are described as being fully in line with the implementation of the Joint Communication on Cyber issued by the high representative and the European Commission in September 2017.