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Progress of the joint EU Cyber Rapid Response Teams development to be discussed in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, January 17-18 – Progress and future developments of Lithuanian-led EU Cyber Rapid Response Teams (CRRT) and Mutual Assistance in Cyber Security project to be discussed at the annual conference in Amsterdam (the Netherlands).

“We have achieved significant progress on the path of developing the EU cyber response force along with other participating countries and strategic partners of the project over the past year. Actions taken prove that we can develop and combine forces in practice to fight threats in cyberspace and to strengthen collective defence in this realm,” Lithuanian Deputy Defence Minister Edvinas Kerza says ahead of the conference.

At the conference, representatives from 13 participating and observing EU Member States and strategic partners from the CERT-EU, European Defence Agency (EDA) and NATO will address results produced over the past year and will discuss about more binding commitments in the future of the Lithuanian-led initiative under the PESCO framework.

In 2018 seven EU Member States have already signed Declaration of Intent to cooperate in creation of the EU CRRTs, and several more countries have voiced a wish to join in the future.

Moreover, Lithuania, as the leading nation for the project, accomplished primary assessment of existing national legal frameworks among the participating Member States in order to investigate possibilities for an effective employment of EU CRRTs. First steps to test the procedures were taken during cyber security exercise “Cyber Shield 2018” in Lithuania, which involved national experts from participating EU Member States’ cyber security units. The first EU CRRT for a 12-month rotation until 2020 was established and assigned by the Netherlands.

The Lithuanian-led EU CRRTs and Mutual Assistance in Cyber Security project initiative proposed back in 2017 is aimed at developing and deepening EU cooperation in the cyber field through mutual assistance in the response to major cyber incidents, incl. information sharing, joint training, mutual operational support, R&D and creation technical toolkit.

Creation of EU CRRTs would strengthen EU Member States’ capabilities to help each other, and as appropriate EU institutions, including CSDP operations, and would ensure higher level of cyber resilience and response to cyber incidents.

Lithuania leads the EU cooperation project in cyber defence, 8 more EU Member States – Estonia, Spain, Croatia, Poland, Netherlands, France, Romania, and Finland are participants of the project, and another 4 – Belgium, Greece, Slovenia, and Germany, are observers of the project.

The initiative on creation of joint EU CRRTs and Mutual Assistance in Cyber Security project is among the most advanced projects out of the overall 17 approved in late 2017 under the EU Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework.

The Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is an instrument laid out in the Treaty of Lisbon, for deepening the cooperation in security and defence area for those EU member states that have military capabilities meeting higher criteria and are bound by greater commitments.

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