The Council has decided to prolong the framework for restrictive measures against cyber-attacks threatening the EU or its Member States for another year, until 18 May 2022.
This framework allows the EU to impose targeted restrictive measures on persons or entities involved in cyber-attacks that cause a significant impact and constitute an external threat to the EU or its Member States.
Restrictive measures can also be imposed in response to cyber-attacks against third states or international organisations where such measures are considered necessary to achieve the objectives of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
Sanctions currently apply to eight individuals and four entities and include an asset freeze and a travel ban. Additionally, EU persons and entities are forbidden from making funds available to those listed.
This latest prolongation is part of the EU’s scale-up of its resilience and its ability to prevent, discourage, deter and respond to cyber threats and malicious cyber activities in order to safeguard European security and interests.
In June 2017, the EU stepped up its response by establishing a Framework for a joint EU diplomatic response to malicious cyber activities (the “cyber diplomacy toolbox”).
The framework allows the EU and its Member States to use all CFSP measures, including restrictive measures if necessary, to prevent, discourage, deter and respond to malicious cyber activities targeting the integrity and security of the EU and its Member states. The EU remains committed to a global, open, stable, peaceful and secure cyberspace and, therefore, reiterates the need to strengthen international cooperation in order to foster rules-based order in this area.