The European Union has reached an agreement to boost the security of the internet and other critical network and information systems by establishing a Cybersecurity Competence Centre to pool investment in cybersecurity research, technology and industrial development.
The new body, to be based in Bucharest, Romania, will channel cybersecurity-related funding from Horizon Europe and the Digital Europe Programme.
The European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre will work together with a network of national coordination centres designated by member states.
The Centre will also bring together the main European stakeholders, including industry, academic and research organisations and other relevant civil society associations, to form a Cybersecurity Competence Community that will enhance and spread cybersecurity expertise across the EU.
The Council has already adopted the regulation establishing the Centre and the network. It now falls to the European Parliament to definitively approve the measure.
The Portuguese Office of the Presidency, which currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, says the new Cybersecurity Competence Centre and network will play a key role in helping secure the digital infrastructure that so many of us use every day for work and leisure, as well as information systems and networks in vital areas such as health, transport, energy, financial markets and banking systems.
It will also bolster the global competitiveness of the EU’s cybersecurity industry, SMEs in particular, and strengthen our leadership and strategic autonomy in the cybersecurity domain.
The Competence Centre will cooperate closely with the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA).
The vote, taken by written procedure, means that the Council has adopted its position at first reading. The legal act now needs to be adopted by the European Parliament at second reading before being published in the EU Official Journal.