European Economic and Social Committee consults civil society on cybersecurity

12 January 2018

On 9 January, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a public hearing on the Cybersecurity Act. Its conclusions will feed into the EESC opinion being drafted by Alberto Mazzola (bio) and Antonio Longo (bio) of the Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society (TEN). The opinion on the Cybersecurity Act will be discussed and adopted at the EESC plenary session in February 2018.

The EESC broadly supports the cybersecurity package set out in the European Commission proposal submitted to the Council in September 2017 and flags up the following measures.

  • A European cybersecurity model: the EESC is encouraging the EU to take the necessary steps and agree on a model of resilience against such attacks at European level.
  • A stronger EU cybersecurity agency: the EESC believes the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) should be developed, made permanent and endowed with more resources. It should focus on e‑government and universal services (e-health) as well as preventing and combating ID theft and online fraud.
  • A European cybersecurity certification : the EESC recommends establishing an EU cybersecurity certification framework, based on commonly defined cybersecurity and ICT standards at European level. Online services and products could then be certified with a proper labelling system, with a view to improving consumer confidence.

ENISA's Executive Director Prof. Dr. Udo Helmbrecht took the opportunity to make a speech on the new role of the agency. He underlined the crucial role that ENISA will play in the near future and its important contribution to a high level of cybersecurity: "We believe that the proposal for a permanent mandate will facilitate the delivery of better results in the long term. The proposed increase of financial and human resources, as well as the opportunity to carry out new tasks will enhance our work in the implementation of the NIS Directive.”