Wednesday

1st Feb 2023

EU cyber directive 'nearly finished'

  • EU rules on cyber-security are expected in January (Photo: UK Ministry of Defence)

The EU executive will release a draft directive on cyber security in 2013, in the latest indication that the bloc is moving towards a harmonised online rulebook.

The bill is likely to propose the creation of a co-operation mechanism to prevent and counter cross-border cyber incidents and a minimum standard of cyber-preparedness at national level.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The new legislation is being piloted by EU digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes, who announced the plans in a paper on 'Digital priorities for 2013-14' published on Wednesday (18 December).

A commission official indicated that the directive would be released at the end of January, with the draft text currently making its way through several commission departments.

Kroes' spokesperson Ryan Heath told EUobserver that the legislation was "nearly finished." He added that the text was about "recognising that digital freedoms and digital security go hand-in-hand – they have to be balanced and dealt with together."

MEPs are also likely to back EU minimum standards for online security. A non-binding report adopted by parliament in June called on member states to set up national contingency plans in the event of an attack, alongside EU legislation criminalising cyber attacks, including online fraud. Romanian centre-left Ivailo Kalfin, who drafted the report, said that "Europe has to have a single voice on cyber-security."

A new regime of cyber-security would be implemented by the European Cybercrime Centre, which will start work in January. The centre, which will be run out of Europol's headquarters in The Hague, has been tasked with co-ordinating national cyber-crime authorities and training national cyber-security experts. It will also work with the US Department of Justice to combat online child sex abuse.

Kroes also called on the EU to up its game in utilising new technologies such as high speed internet and cloud computing.

Speaking to reporters she warned that the EU "is not positioning itself well enough to benefit from digital developments."

Moreover, at a time when over 20% of European's under-25s are out of work, the EU executive's paper claims that "by 2015, 700,000 to 1 million high-quality ICT jobs will not be filled".

However, she added that "if (it was) not for the digital economy then the EU would be in an even deeper recession"

She went on to say that "if e-commerce were to grow to 15% of the total retail sector and Single Market barriers were eliminated, it is estimated that total consumer welfare gains would be around €204 billion, equivalent to 1.7% of EU GDP."

According to a recent Eurobarometer survey, 40% of users are concerned about their personal data being compromised online, and 38% are worried about the security of online payments.

Meanwhile, a poll in July by the same group revealed that one in ten Europeans had been victims of data theft. Online security firm McAfee estimates that cyber-crime cost businesses $750bn (€600bn) in lost income across the world in 2011.

Opinion

Cyber space needs stronger rule of law

Even cyber warfare should be bound by conventions, for instance, not to attack hospitals, the Dutch foreign minister and the EU foreign policy chief say.

Opinion

Why the new ECHR Ukraine-Russia ruling matters

The ECHR ruled that Russia was in "effective control" of separatist regions of Eastern Ukraine from 11 May 2014. In doing so, the court has formally acknowledged the inter-state character of the conflict and Russia's culpability for human rights abuses.

Opinion

Greece's spy scandal must shake us out of complacency

The director of Amnesty International Greece on the political spying scandal that now threatens to bring down prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Activists and NGO staff work with the constant fear that they are being spied on.

Latest News

  1. Hungary blames conspiracy for EU corruption rating
  2. Democracy — is it in crisis or renaissance?
  3. EU lobby register still riddled with errors
  4. Polish backpedal on windfarms put EU funds at risk
  5. More money, more problems in EU answer to US green subsidies
  6. Study: EU electricity transition sped into high gear in 2022
  7. Russia and China weaponised pandemic to sow distrust, MEPs hear
  8. Frontex to spend €100m on returning migrants this year

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Party of the European LeftJOB ALERT - Seeking a Communications Manager (FT) for our Brussels office!
  2. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  3. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains
  4. Forum EuropeConnecting the World from the Skies calls for global cooperation in NTN rollout
  5. EFBWWCouncil issues disappointing position ignoring the threats posed by asbestos
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  4. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  5. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  6. European Committee of the RegionsRe-Watch EURegions Week 2022

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us