Saturday

20th Jul 2019

Finnish presidency to war-game hybrid threat response

Finland plans to hold simulations among EU home affairs and finance ministers to better prepare the EU for any hybrid attacks that might be directed towards the bloc.

"We want member states to strengthen their capacities to counter hybrid threats," Finland's foreign minister Pekka Haavisto told reporters in Helsinki on Thursday (27 June).

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

"Its aim is to find a way to build resilience and raise awareness in the EU," Finland's interior minister Maria Ohisalo said, adding that the exercise is partly to serve as practice on how EU can make decisions when facing acute hybrid threats.

It also serves as a signal to the EU's enemies that the bloc is preparing for various attacks.

The so-called "scenario based policy discussion" will be held for justice and home affairs ministers in Helsinki on 18 July, and for finance ministers on 13-14 September on how to tackle hybrid threats in the financial sector.

The preliminary outcomes will be discussed at a joint informal meeting of ministers in Helsinki at the end of August.

Finland plans to organise the simulations and draw up the scenarios played out by the ministers at their Helsinki informal meetings to counter hybrid threats, including hostile measures from cyber attacks to disinformation campaigns with the aim of undermining social cohesion.

However, Finnish officials are tight-lipped about the possible scenarios the ministers will have to deal with in the simulations.

The Finnish presidency also wants to set up a permanent council working group, an expert group of member states' representatives, on hybrid threats.

Finland's initiative is part of a wider effort by the EU to counter hostile hybrid attacks from Russia, China and other authoritarian states.

At last week's summit, EU leaders said in their conclusions that "the EU must ensure a coordinated response to hybrid and cyber threats", and to "work on measures to enhance the resilience and improve the security culture of the EU against cyber and hybrid threats from outside the EU".

GPS jamming

Last year Finland experienced a disruption in the GPS signal in its northern airspace during Nato war games held last year. Russia was suspected to be behind the deliberate jamming.

Hybrid threats are aiming to weaken social cohesion, undermine social unity and trust in government and public authorities, Ohisalo pointed out, adding that they target core values such as democracy, openness, free flow of information, freedom of speech and democratic freedom.

Ohisalo highlighted that one way to counter hybrid threats is by strengthening social cohesion.

PiS & Fidesz claim credit for von der Leyen victory

Warsaw and Budapest are boasting about their support for von der Leyen after the german is confirmed only by a small margin of MEPs, but the illiberals should not expect the softening of rule of law scrutiny.

Analysis

Von der Leyen faces gender battle for commission posts

The first-ever female president of the European Commission wants half of her team of commissioners to consist of women. But most of the commissioners put forward by EU member states so far have been male.

Merkel and Macron split over Weber presidency

EU heads of government have their first face-to-faces discussions after the European elections on who should lead the EU commission. They are unlikely to decide quickly - with the parliament also divided over the candidates.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. EU goes on holiday as new UK PM arrives This WEEK
  2. Survey: Half of EU staff 'don't know' ethics rules
  3. Von der Leyen signals soft touch on migrants, rule of law
  4. Timmermans: von der Leyen will be tough on rule of law
  5. Timmermans trolls 'idiot' Brexit negotiators
  6. Rudderless Europe: Will real Germany please stand up?
  7. PiS & Fidesz claim credit for von der Leyen victory
  8. Von der Leyen faces gender battle for commission posts

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us