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21 new EU funded projects to assist EU Member States in building up their cybersecurity capabilities and cooperating

The European Union invests through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme €7.6 million in projects which seek to strengthen the European Union's capacity and deal more efficiently with cyber-threats and incidents.

Operators of Essential Services (OES) and National Competent Authorities (NCAs) for cybersecurity are among the selected beneficiaries to receive funding by the Connecting Europe Facility cybersecurity call 2019. In addition, National Cybersecurity Certification Authorities (NCCAs)  will receive support for the first time.

The beneficiaries will acquire the tools and skills necessary to comply with the requirements set by the NIS Directive and the Cybersecurity Act and will also engage in activities to cooperate effectively at EU level. For example, some projects will develop internal cybersecurity policy and procedures and develop the skills of their personnel, others will carry out cross-border exchanges of best-practices and cyber-awareness initiatives.


The related grant agreements will be signed by Q3 2020 and the new projects are expected to start before the end of the year.          


Some interesting facts about this call

  • 3 hospitals in Croatia are Latvia will receive financing to increase their preparedness against cyber-threats
  • For the first time Belgium is receiving funding for Cybersecurity through CEF
  • One project will set-up an Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) in the aviation sector

You may find some additional interesting numbers by checking the infographic  presenting the outcome of this call.


Background information

Operators of essential services (OES) are private businesses or public entities with an important role to provide security in healthcare, transport, energy, banking and financial market infrastructure, digital infrastructure and water supply.

Through the CEF Cybersecurity calls, the EU seeks to facilitate the implementation of the EU Cybersecurity strategy. For example, it supports the EU Member States in putting the NIS Directive and the Cybersecurity Act’s legal provisions into practice.

Since 2016, the EU has been providing support for improving the operations and capabilities of key Cybersecurity stakeholders in Member States, for example national CSIRTs, teams that provide support services to handle cybersecurity threats and incidents, National Competent Authorities, and Operators of essential Services. Between 2016 and 2019 the European Commission has awarded €29 million funding to 22 EU Member States.

In parallel, the European Commission has set up a platform that gives national CSIRTs concrete means to share information and to cooperate operationally EU wide to fight against cyber-attacks. It has also launched an initiative to facilitate the set-up and development of European Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs), organizations that provide a central resource for gathering information on cyber threats and smoothen information sharing between the private and the public sector.

EU will continue investing in strengthening cybersecurity through CEF. In June 2020, a new CEF cybersecurity call of €10.5 million (CEF-TC-2020-2) will open.