The Project envisages rapid creation of multinational response networks and of cyber teams composed of cyber defence experts from the Memorandum signatories
On the margins of the informal EU defence ministers meetings at the National and University Library in Zagreb on 4 March 2020 the Memorandum of Understanding concerning the PESCO Project titled “Cyber Rapid Response Teams and Mutual Assistance in Cyber Security” was signed by the Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević, by the Defence Minister of the Republic of Lithuania Raimundas Karoblis, by the Defence Minister of Estonia Jüri Luik, by the Defence Minister of Kingdom of the Netherlands Ank Bijleveld-Schouten, by the Defence Minister of Romania Nicolae Ionel Ciucă and Deputy Defence Minister of Poland Pawel Wozny, in the presence of the High EU Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.
The project envisages rapid creation of multinational response networks and cyber teams composed of cyber defence experts and unlike other multinational cyber defence initiatives focussed on sharing the information in cyber security, the CCRT and Mutual Assistance project entails the human resources sharing, which increases its value.
Minister Krstičević: One of the biggest value of this project is sharing of human resources – cyber experts
Through the participation in the said PESCO project the Ministry of Defence and the Croatian Armed Forces continue developing the capabilities in cyber defence, and the key role is assigned to the recently established Cyber Space Command.
Minister Krstičević said he was pleased that the Memorandum of Understanding for the important PESCO project was signed in Zagreb.
“I wish to use the opportunity to extend appreciation to Minister Raimundas Karoblis for Lithuania’s committed work in project coordination. Croatia was one of the first countries to join the project on its inception in 2018. We recognised the Project’s potential for the strengthening of the national, the EU’s and NATO’s cyber capabilities. The Croatian experts did an excellent job and I am sure that the co-operation would further develop in the near future.
One of the biggest values of this project, in addition to exchange of information and experience, is sharing of the human resources. The Ministry of Defence and the Croatian Armed Forces have been engaged in the development of the project and will continue to do so. This year we intend to designate an expert from the recently established Cyber Space Command to the project and I am looking forward to our next activities”, said the Minister.
Borrell: Cyber defence space is a new challenge for defence industry
High EU Representative Josep Borrell stressed that cyber threats have become increasingly frequent and widespread and that it was necessary to join the forces and knowledge to respond to them.
“Cyber space defence is a new challenge for the defence industry, and the projects of the kind help us develop in this area. Therefore I congratulate all signatories of the Memorandum for creating the integrated capacities network”, said High Representative Borrell.
European ministers agree: The project will further enhance the co-operation of the signatories of the Memorandum
The Defence Minister of Lithuania (the Project Coordinator) Raimundas Karoblis said the Project supported a completely novel multinational cyber capability initiated and guided by Lithuania. “Every state faces cybersecurity challenges, we have to join forces because cyber warfare is ongoing and it knows no borders. It is also a concrete and clear example of EU countries contributing to a stronger European defence and supporting NATO defence and deterrence measures by non-military means.
The Minister of National Defence of Romania Nicolae Ionel Ciucă stated that Romania was glad to join the Memorandum as it offered a solid basis for further PESCO projects and for effective cyber defence.
In addition to “Cyber Rapid Response Teams and Mutual Assistance” Croatia is engaged in five more PESCO projects: “Military Mobility”, “Network of Logistic Hubs in Europe and Support to Operations”, “Upgrade of Maritime Surveillance”, “Deployable Military Disaster Relief Capability Package” and “CBRN Surveillance as a Service”.