CEPS Task Force

Strengthening the EU’s Cyber Defence Capabilities


The security of cyber space has gradually become a key priority both for the protection of critical infrastructure and for military purposes. Cyber defence, however, is often at a structural disadvantage to attacks, especially those of a global or cross-border nature. In Europe, this vulnerability is also due to the fragmented nature of defence strategies and capabilities, unevenly confined to the hands of national governments. At the EU level, this reality becomes even clearer as a result of the ongoing integration of the Digital Single Market. With the growing degree of interconnectedness, an enhanced level of cooperation and coordination in the defence domain is required: otherwise, the least prepared countries might become an easy point of entry for cyber-attackers (spies, thieves or terrorists) wishing to target the whole EU (the so-called “weakest link” problem).

Against this background, the cybersecurity landscape in Europe is highly fragmented. Various initiatives have been undertaken to strengthen coordination, including a revision of the mandate of ENISA (the EU Agency for Network Security, based in Greece); the creation of Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) in each member state; and the adoption of the Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive, which creates an unprecedented set of information-sharing obligations between private players and public authorities.

In this context, the CEPS Task Force on “Strengthening the EU’s Cyber Defence Capabilities” will examine ad-hoc measures  to enhance cyber defence in the EU and will provide input to the ongoing reflections on how to integrate cybersecurity and cyber defence into the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy  (CSDP) and to promote synergies between military and civilian efforts. This initiative is also timely as it supports recent efforts to further develop the EU’s CSDP by setting up permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) among 23 EU member states.


  • Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Former Secretary General of Nato from 2004-2009


  • Steven Blockmans, Senior Research Fellow and Head of EU Foreign Policy Unit, CEPS
  • Melissa Kate Griffith, University of Berkeley ​
  • Lorenzo Pupillo, Associate Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Cybersecurity@CEPS Initiative
  • Andrea Renda, Senior Research Fellow and Head of Regulatory Policy Unit, CEPS

1st Meeting

2nd Meeting

3rd Meeting

4th Meeting

  • Topic: Official presentation of the Task Force Report – Download the Agenda
  • Date: 11 July 2018

Final Report

How to join
Download the Prospectus, check the conditions for participation and fill in the application form on the last page.
For further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Lorenzo Pupillo, Associate Senior Research Fellow, CEPS by email at: lorenzo.pupillo@ceps.eu.

Lorenzo Pupillo

Associate Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Cybersecurity@CEPS Initiative

+32 (0)2 229 39 68

Steven Blockmans

Director of Research

+32 (0)2 229 39 25

Andrea Renda

Senior Research Fellow and Head of Global Governance, Regulation, Innovation & Digital Economy

+32 (0)2 229 39 17