EU needs to invest in cyber capabilities

  • Martin Macq
  • 24.11.2017 17:33

Major defence investments must be done to improve the EU's cyber capabilities and weapons systems, according to a report from the Munich Security Conference and another report from 23 November. The EU needs to react to the growing Russian threat and pressure for more independent European defence exerted by US President Trump.

Experts estimate that the EU needs to invest between €27.2 billion and €40.8 billion per year in the following years to compete with Russian cyber capabilities and global military digitalisation. The EU plans to invest €5.5 billion a year from 2020 for on capabilities development and acquisitions and €90 million on research through the European Defence Fund established in June 2017. Yet, Western Europe is the world's second largest spender on cybersecurity with €16.4 billion. Estonia, France and Norway are the three leaders within Europe. A 2% investment into defence capabilities must be reached by EU member states by 2024 to upgrade cyber capabilities and weapons systems. However, innovations in this area will still probably be achieved through EU-NATO cooperation and US support, as shown by the Joint Declaration signed by EU and NATO leaders in July 2016, which aims to develop defence capabilities in Europe to face cyber and hybrid threats.

About author: Martin Macq

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