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Security and defence

The world is facing a growing cybersecurity challenge that demands immediate action. As society continues to digitise and technological innovation advances, threats are becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated.  These range from cybercrime, affecting both individuals and businesses, to espionage, cyberterrorism and malicious attacks targeting critical infrastructure and sensitive data.

In response to these dynamics, protecting the digital economy, critical infrastructure and citizens’ privacy has become a strategic priority for the EU. For this reason, several components of European programmes such as Digital Europe, the European Defence Fund and Horizon Europe are focused on funding cybersecurity-related projects and programmes.

Recent changes in the geopolitical landscape play a crucial role in drawing the EU’s attention to defence and security issues. Indeed, the increased focus on the Common Security and Defence Policy reflects emerging global trends, such as Russian aggression in Ukraine, the strengthening of military capabilities in Southeast Asia and the emergence of new threats from non-state actors in both the physical and virtual realm.

The establishment of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in 2017, together with the creation of the European Defence Fund (EDF) in 2021, are notable examples of this drive towards greater collaboration between EU Member States in the field of defence.

The challenge of cybersecurity

The world is facing a growing cyber security challenge that demands immediate action.

Security

Security in Horizon Europe

Within the framework of the Horizon Europe Cluster 3 Civil Security for Society, has an initiative entitled “Enhancing Cyber Security,” which comprises various themes aimed at contributing to the achievement of the following objectives:

  • Strengthening the European Union’s cybersecurity capabilities and its autonomy in digital technologies
  • Promoting more resilient digital infrastructures, systems and processes
  • Enhancing software, hardware and supply chain security
  • Promoting secure disruptive technologies
  • Establishment of intelligible and shared security guarantees and certifications across the EU
  • Strengthening awareness and promoting a common culture of cybersecurity

Digital Europe

Digital Europe is another EU programme aimed at supporting the EU’s digital transformation process. This programme has €35 million available for activities linked to the Cybersecurity Emergency Mechanism component, covering preparedness and mutual cooperation, as well as €3 million to promote civil-defence coordination in cybersecurity.

Europe Digital