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The Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, Mr. Kyriakos Kokkinos, represented Cyprus at the Informal Meeting of Ministers of Telecommunications, held, under the French Presidency, on March 8 and 9, 2022 in Paris and Nevers, France.
The Summit discussed the need to build a strong cybersecurity ecosystem in Europe to ensure the protection and resilience of electronic communications networks and infrastructures, as well as to be ready for a collective and effective response to large-scale cyber-attacks, while supporting development. and utilization of innovative solutions and technologies. In addition, there was a need to reassess any geopolitical dependencies on European broadband networks, in the light of both the Ukrainian and the wider instability and uncertainty of the global geopolitical environment.
In his speech, the Undersecretary pointed out that cybersecurity is a global concern, more relevant than ever, adding that it is our duty to create a modern and secure environment of information and network infrastructure, networks and services, which guarantees the fundamental rights of citizens but also to enable them to reap the maximum benefits from the digital economy. Stressed the urgent need to strengthen the existing European protection and coordination framework (CSIRT-Network and CyCLONE), while pushing for the completion and rapid implementation of the new legislative framework, while emphasizing the importance of facilitating the exchange of information – in real time – between States. Member States, as well as the establishment of a direct technical assistance mechanism in the event of large-scale incidents and crises.
“Solidarity, cooperation and trust are building blocks of a secure European cyberspace,” Kokkinos said, stressing that Cyprus, taking advantage of its geostrategic position and developing a robust and robust submarine telecommunications infrastructure, could be a gateway to Europe, as well as a pillar of stability at regional level. Finally, he stressed the importance of skills development, training and career advancement in the cybersecurity sector, in order to strengthen the EU's capabilities and respond more effectively to ever-increasing and evolving needs and challenges.
At a working lunch that followed, the Ministers exchanged views on the issues of hybrid threats, misinformation and manipulation of information on the Internet, especially in critical times and situations, such as today, stressing the need for a common approach to mitigation. but also tackling their multiple negative effects on the EU economy and society.
During the Summit, the French Presidency announced that it intends to coordinate the European effort to provide the Ukrainian Government with technological equipment, through donations from Member States and IT companies, while the Member States have signed two Joint Calls to strengthen the EU cybersecurity. “Joint Call by EU Ministers responsible for digital and electronic communications to the digital sector”) – an initiative of the French Presidency – declaring on the one hand their intention to take joint action to strengthen cyber security in the Union and condemning Russia's military attack on Ukraine and calling on IT and communications companies to take immediate and effective measures to ensure the reliability and security of their services.
Innovation “, which aims to raise awareness and the development of common solutions to promote an open, equitable and inclusive innovation and technology ecosystem in Europe, with equal and gender-equitable representation and access to investment and finance.