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EU proposes cyber defence plan as concerns about Russia mount

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On Thursday (10 November), the European Commission presented two plans to address the deteriorating security environment following Russia's invasion in Ukraine. These plans were to strengthen cyber defense and allow armed forces more freedom to cross borders.

According to the EU executive, Russian cyberattacks on European Union countries and their allies were a "wake up" call. It stated that more action was required to protect citizens, armed forces, as well as cooperation with NATO.

Josep Borrell, EU foreign policy chief, said:"War is back at our borders," and that Russia's aggression against Ukraine was undermining peace and the international rules-based system globally. He spoke to a news conference to reveal the plans.

"It affects us, and we must adapt our defense policies to this environment."

Separately, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned about growing cyberspace threats. He noted recent attacks on satellites, critical infrastructure, and government departments as part of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

In a speech delivered in Rome, the head of the US defense alliance stated that Cyberspace is "a continuously contested space" and that the line between conflict and crisis is blurred.

"I appeal to allies to commit to cyber defense. Increased co-operation, expertise and money. This is an essential part of our collective defense and we all share it."

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CAPABILITIES

The European Commission's policy would increase EU cyber defense capabilities and improve coordination and cooperation between civilian and military cyber communities.

This initiative is part a set of measures that the Commission has proposed to improve EU cybersecurity in light of recent cyberattacks against governments and businesses around the world.

Last week, ENISA, the EU cybersecurity agency, stated that the invasion of Ukraine led to more severe and widespread cyberattacks in the EU over the past year.

The Commission has also proposed a separate Action Plan on Military Mobility. This plan aims to assist EU countries and their allies in transporting troops and equipment more efficiently, working towards "better connected infrastructure" and strengthening co-operation with NATO.

"For military forces to make an impact on the ground, they need to move quickly. They cannot be hampered by bureaucracy and a lack of adaptable infrastructure," Margrethe Vestager, vice president of the Commission, stated at Thursday's news conference.

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