ECSO convened its first High Level Roundtable on Europe’s Cyber Future

5 February 2019, Brussels, Belgium
ECSO gathered together key decision-makers from the European Union (EU) institutions, Member States and the private sector to engage in a dialogue on how the European cyber security ecosystem can be further developed.

In his welcoming remarks to 150 participants, Philippe Vannier, Chairman of ECSO, emphasised that since its creation in 2016, ECSO has significantly contributed to the development of the European cyber security policy. ECSO not only has gone beyond the initial investment target set in the framework of the contractual Public Private Partnership (cPPP) but has also launched a number of concrete actions and initiatives.

After the introduction, the discussions at the Roundtable were structured around three themes: 1) “Vision for the European cyber security: make Europe a leader”; 2) “Implementation of a European cyber security industrial policy for the protection of the EU digitalisation, global competitiveness and increased digital autonomy”; and 3) “Cooperation in an enhanced Public-Private Partnership at European level”.

In his speech, the European Commission’s Vice President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip emphasised the need to have a strong European cyber security industry, which will ensure the European Union is keeping up with the technological developments and is able to ensure its cyber readiness and resilience. According to him, this is where the public-private partnership on cyber security plays a vital role. Vice President Ansip added: “One of the many things we can learn from recent security discussions is that Europe’s own cyber security industry should be as strong as possible”.

According to the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, close cooperation between the EU Member States and the European cyber security industry is essential in achieving the highest level of cyber security. Karol Okonski, Polish State Secretary for Digital Affairs and member of the ECSO Board of Directors, added that for the national public administrations such cooperation gives a possibility of bringing different countries and different companies together to reach common agreements and exchange opportunities, especially in the field of research and innovation (R&I). 

In their statements, the European cyber security industry representatives emphasised that Europe has a strong and innovative cyber security basis. The GDPR, NIS Directive and Cybersecurity Act demonstrates that the EU can set up its own rules and is ready to have a control of its key technologies. However, if it wants to catch up on a global tech race and become a market leader, the EU needs to have a comprehensive and agile cyber security strategy, build on efficient cooperation between the industry, research and the public sector at the European level.

The users of cyber security solutions highlighted that not only technological solutions are important elements of cyber resilient society, but also education initiatives, awareness campaigns and trustworthiness among different stakeholders.

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About ECSO

The European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO) ASBL is a fully self-financed non-for-profit organisation under the Belgian law, established in June 2016. ECSO represents the contractual counterparty to the European Commission in implementing the contractual Public-Private Partnership (cPPP) on cyber security. ECSO unites a great variety of European cyber security stakeholders, including large companies, SMEs and start-ups, research centres, universities, end-users, operators, clusters and associations, as well as the local, regional and national administrations across the European Union (EU) Member States, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and H2020 Programme associated countries. The main goal is to develop European cyber security ecosystem, support the protection of European Digital Single Market and, ultimately, to contribute to the advancement of European digital autonomy. More information is available at https://ecs-org.eu/ 

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