Thursday

15th Nov 2018

Focus

Germany tells EU to slow down on new cyber rules

  • The directive on security of network and information systems should be implemented first, according to German official. (Photo: Pixabay)

Germany has poured cold water on the European Commission's proposal for a stronger EU cybersecurity agency.

A German government agency official said on Tuesday (10 October) at the Cybersec conference in Krakow that EU member states should first focus on implementing the rules that have already been agreed.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"The most important response I would like to give is: 'first comes first'," said Roland Hartmann, head of international relations at the German federal office for information security (BSI).

"We at BSI appreciate the ambition of the European Commission to look beyond the NIS directive," said Hartmann, referring to the first-ever pan-EU set of rules on cybersecurity, the directive on security of network and information systems (NIS).

"But we should not neglect that we first need to establish, I would like to call it basic reading and writing skills in Europe, as the NIS directive tells us to, before we get to the advanced mathematics level, as intended by the cybersecurity package," he said metaphorically.

The NIS directive was adopted in July 2016. Member states have until 9 May 2018 to transpose it into national law.

Enisa to become European Cybersecurity Agency

Last month, the EU commission published a legislative proposal on cybersecurity, foreseeing a beefed up role for the Greece-based European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (Enisa), which would be restyled as European Cybersecurity Agency.

The new agency would have a bigger budget and staff, although a spokesman for Enisa told EUobserver earlier on Tuesday that the exact number of additional staff will only be known once the proposal has become law.

The plan can only come into force if it has the backing of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, in which national governments meet.

In the Council, Germany's voice is very strong because it is the largest EU member state.

Hartmann downplayed expectations of Enisa, which currently has 84 staff members, as a pan-EU cybersecurity hub.

"It is important to see that EU member states should create own capacities, and invest in cybersecurity," he said.

"Even an expected Enisa, with a size of 125 or more people, may not substitute increased national efforts. Even more important: we may not risk the already developed national achievements, and we should not risk a thorough implementation of the NIS directive."

The NIS directive will require certain companies to report security breaches to their national government. That will mean there needs to be trust between the two sides - industry and government.

Hartmann said the BSI officials in Germany, as well as national authorities in other countries, have established this "mutual relationship of trust and support" with the relevant industries.

"A pure regulatory, formalistic approach would not lead to the beneficial situation [of] information sharing in Europe," he said.

"Ownership, trust and on-the-ground support are more essential and relevant than the best regulation."

EU agency to fight election hacking

A new-model EU cybersecurity agency could help states defend their elections against "hybrid attacks", the Commission has said.

Interview

EU 'underestimated' cyber-crime

"Cybercrime is growing much, much faster than I think we anticipated," the EU commissioner for security, Julian King, told EUobserver.

Interview

Greece keen to keep EU cybersecurity agency

Greek official welcomed proposal to give the agency a bigger role, downplayed its kitchen sink problems, and said he was himself the victim of a computer virus.

EU to beef up cybersecurity agency

The Commission's president proposed to set up a European Cybersecurity Agency. The EU already has an agency for Network and Information Security.

News in Brief

  1. Full text of Brexit withdrawal agreement published
  2. UK cabinet agrees Brexit deal after marathon session
  3. Czechs join other EU states in rejecting UN migration pact
  4. EU Commission to give verdict on Italy budget next week
  5. EU's Tusk is Poland's most trusted politician
  6. Finland prepares to step in for Romania on EU presidency
  7. Trump threatens tariffs on EU wine
  8. US defence chief backs Nato amid 'EU army' calls

Are EU data watchdogs staffed for GDPR?

The success of the new general data protection regulation (GDPR) will depend on whether data protection authorities enforce the new rules - which, in turn, will be at least partly determined by how many people they employ.

Eight countries to miss EU data protection deadline

The EU starts enforcing its general data protection regulation on 25 May - but Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia won't be ready. The delay will cause legal uncertainty.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM put Orban on spot
  2. How the 'EU's Bank' fails to raise the bar on accountability
  3. Knives out on all sides for draft Brexit deal
  4. Romania data chief defends forcing press to reveal sources
  5. EU to review animal welfare strategy
  6. Macron's 'European army': why is everyone talking about it?
  7. Merkel calls for 'real, true' EU army
  8. Italy defiant on budget on eve of EU deadline

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us