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Experts and organisations were invited to join EU CyberNet Network at the Annual Conference

On 30 October, the first EU CyberNet Annual Conference took place at Tallinn Creative Hub focussing on the cyber capacity building projects of the EU, the possibilities for more coordinated and effective delivery of development cooperation, and the role of EU CyberNet in these activities.

The conference opened with a keynote video by Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, according to whom digitisation must be delivered securely. Therefore, cybersecurity is also a priority for the European Union and all Member States should jointly contribute to EU CyberNet. The keynote remarks by Urmas Reinsalu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia, emphasised the importance of the EU CyberNet initiative for Europe and Estonia. Finally, Margus Noormaa, Director General of the Estonian Information System Authority, gave an overview of the story of EU CyberNet and invited experts and partner institutions from all over Europe to join it. The opening remarks were followed by a video introducing the EU CyberNet project.

The first panel, which focussed on the strategic challenges in cybersecurity, brought together representatives of the consortium partners of EU CyberNet – Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar, Ambassador-at-Large for Cyber Security at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regine Grienberger, Ambassador for Cyber Foreign Policy at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, and Pascal Steichen, CEO of SECURITYMADEIN.LU, the cybersecurity centre of Luxembourg. The panellists agreed that the European Union has significant role in cybersecurity capacity building activities in Europe and beyond. It was highlighted that these activities should be coordinated and the relevant experts be gathered by EU CyberNet. Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar stressed that the main target of cyber capacity building projects should be countries where digitisation and rapid use of information technology are taking place but where cyber safeguards are not yet in place. Regine Grienberger noted the global competition of cybersecurity models and the need for a well-coordinated approach by the EU. Pascal Steichen added that there could be mutual benefits for the EU CyberNet and the development of the EU cybersecurity competence centre’s network, and vice versa.

The second panel was attended by cyber capacity building practitioners from Europe to the Pacific – Liina Areng, an expert in the European Union’s Cyber Resilience for Development (Cyber4Dev) project, Matteo Lucchetti, Cybercrime Programme Manager of the Council of Europe, and Klée Aiken, Principal Pacific Partnership Advisor at CERT NZ. The panellists agreed that there could not be a single pre-prescribed approach to cyber capacity building, but rather, it should depend largely on each target country. They were also convinced that the local buy-in and ownserhip of the target country plays a major role in the success of a project. According to Liina Areng, cyber experts are expected to be like superheroes who can help with any cybersecurity issue.

The last part of the conference focused on EU CyberNet. Siim Alatalu, Director of EU CyberNet, gave a more thorough overview of the opportunities and benefits of joining the network and answered questions from the audience.

The conference was moderated by Uku Särekanno and the aim of the conference was to officially launch the EU CyberNet Network. The recording of the conference is available on the website of EU CyberNet www.eucybernet.eu/live. Involving experts and partners will be the central activity of EU CyberNet in the coming months. To join the network, visit the EU CyberNet website and register: www.eucybernet.eu.

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