Countering hybrid security threats becomes top priority
22 July, 2017
The EU outlined plans last Wednesday to counter the growing 'hybrid' threat to its security, such as monitoring and countering illegal online content and propaganda. Reporting on actions taken and next steps to implement the 2016 Joint Framework on countering hybrid threats, the Commission said hybrid threats were an increasingly security concern for the EU, highlighting the need for an integrated approach to link internal resilience with the EU's external actions.
“Cooperation in security and defence is not an option, it's a must. Europe faces more hybrid, unconventional security challenges than ever. That is why, as the report shows, we are responding with an unprecedented level of cooperation between the EU, Member States and NATO to improve resilience, address strategic vulnerabilities and prepare coordinated responses,” Internal Market Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said at a press conference.
The report shows significant progress on each of the 22 actions to combat hybrid threats which were identified last year. The EU has improved its awareness and the information exchange between Member States on these growing security threats, which often combine conventional and unconventional methods, ranging from terrorism and cyber-attacks to disinformation campaigns or media manipulation. It has also made headway in protecting critical infrastructure in areas such as transport, energy, cybersecurity, and the financial system, as well as in counter violent extremism and radicalisation.
But more remains to be done as the nature of hybrid threats continues to evolve, according to the Commission. As part of the EU's integrated approach to security and defence, the Joint Framework set out a number of actions to prevent, tackle and mitigate the growing challenge of hybrid threats. Work has been taken forward and progress has been made in all areas.