Estonia to Lead EU-Wide Cyber Defense Program ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Scanpix

The Defense Ministry says Estonia will play a prominent part in one of several high-tech programs approved by the EU's defense ministers this week.

Estonia will develop, lead and at least partially host a project to develop member states' capabilities to respond to cyber attacks.

The project, to be implemented as part of the EU's common security and defense policy, was approved by the steering board of the European Defense Agency on Tuesday.

Cyber defense training will be administered and joint exercises held, using a cybernetics lab based at the Estonian Defense Forces, the Defense Ministry said today in a statement.

“Estonia has unique experience and knowledge in the area of cyber defense and our desire is to aid progress in the field throughout the European Union,” said Minister of Defense Urmas Reinsalu. “We offered member states our lead role and I am glad that the cyber defense project received approval from the defense ministers.”

Estonia will also help other member states establish cyber labs.

In addition, the project will involve setting up the first cyber prevention capability for the European Union Operations Headquarters.

The EU’s defense ministers also approved projects for air-to-air refueling, satellite communications, remote piloted aircraft systems and support for the defense industry.

Reinsalu said Estonia was waiting for a clear message from the Council of the European Union that defense issues are important for the bloc. “The European Union must be credible as a provider of security and be able to respond rapidly in crises. For this, the member states must invest sufficiently into national defense, and the use of EU battle groups must be made more flexible,” Reinsalu said at the meeting.