CONCORDIA and Cyber Diplomacy

CONCORDIA and Cyber Diplomacy

In the scope of community building activities, CONCORDIA project established cooperation with EU Cyber Direct project that supports EU cyber diplomacy and international digital engagements. The EU Cyber Direct – EU Cyber Diplomacy Initiative is funded by the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) at the European Commission. The project supports closer engagement between the EU and international partners on issues such as responsible state behaviour in cyberspace, application of international law or confidence-building measures and promotes multistakeholder cooperation, which makes it perfectly aligned with community building objectives of CONCORDIA.

In its blog on Strategies for Capacity Building, project is explaining two streams of capacity building actions: capacity to engage and capacity to implement. This is an important distinction, especially when it comes to countries and regions that are currently not part of EU Cybersecurity Competence Centre ecosystem. In this direction, the four pilot projects (CONCORDIA, CS4EU, SPARTA, ECHO), that brought together over 160 partners from 25 EU Member States and 5 non-EU Member States, are looking forward to extend further its reach, and to engage with organizations from additional countries.

As witnessed by EU Cyber Direct, many capacity building efforts in these countries are sort of ad hoc initiatives rather than properly designed actions undertaken as part of a broader engagement. They might have been focused on building CERTs, cybersecurity strategies support, or regulatory adaptation, but not on a permanent engagement with the EU cybersecurity competence community and integration in the emerging ecosystem.  While the EU Cyber Diplomacy Initiative approaches cyber diplomacy as a separate pillar of capacity building, it is mainly targeting governmental stakeholders, and there is a good opportunity for collaboration with CONCORDIA in building “capacity to engage” among non-EU cybersecurity communities including research, industry (both supply and demand side), as well as start-up and investment community.  

As mentioned in another related blog, there are more than 250 international cyber capacity building projects running each year, involving over 650 organizations, so it is not anymore matter of quantity. Structured approach, starting with building of “capacity to engage”, and going beyond governmental cybersecurity community, could be a good start.

(By Aljosa Pasic & Patryk Pawlak – ATOS Spain SA & European Union Institute for Security Studies)