Finland launches its centre for countering hybrid threats

The European Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Countering Hybrid Threats officially launched in Helsinki on Monday 2 October. The Centre emerged from an initiative of the Finnish government with the support of top EU and NATO officials together with 11 allied countries.

Although there are currently 24 such institutions accredited under NATO, the CoE is the first centre of its kind enjoying an active support of both the Alliance and the EU. At the invitation of Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, the inauguration was attended by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. In his speech, Stoltenberg highlighted Finland's role in securing the airspace in the Baltics and the country’s close partnership with NATO, and also praised the current successful EU - NATO cooperation in the area of countering hybrid and cyber threats. Their relevance has been emphasised by an incident from 4 October reported by The Wall Street Journal, when Russian drones allegedly compromised the smartphones of around 4,000 NATO troops stationed in Poland and the Baltics, which could allow them access to data such as troop numbers and intelligence information.

About author: Tomáš Hošek

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