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The European Cybersecurity Competence Centre and Network: Commission issues guidelines for evaluation of National Coordination Centers’ capacity to manage EU funds

The Commission has adopted guidelines for evaluation of National Coordination Centres (‘NCCs’) capacity to manage EU funds. This is a new step in the implementation of the Regulation establishing a new Cybersecurity Competence Centre and Network. The Network will be constituted of 27 National Coordination Centres, one from each Member State, to boost research excellence and the competitiveness of the Union in this field.

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According to the Regulation, a NCC should be a public sector entity, or mostly owned by the State, or performing public administration functions, and having the capacity to support the Competence Centre and the Network in fulfilling their mission. It shall either possess or have access to research and technological expertise in cybersecurity. It shall also have the capacity to engage effectively and coordinate with industry, the public sector, the academic and research community and citizens.

Each Member State shall nominate its NCC by the end of the year, and may ask the Commission for an opinion to assess its capacity to manage EU funding. The Commission will have three months to reply. 

Funding sources of the new Cybersecurity Competence Centre and Network of NCCs include the Digital Europe Programme and , under certain conditions, Horizon Europe Programme, as well as contributions from Member States.

The Cybersecurity Competence Centre is being set up in Bucharest, and the Commission will provisionally run it until it can operateautonomously.  

On 20 October, the Cybersecurity Competence Centre’s Governing Board, which is made up of representatives from Member States and the Commission, officially met for the first time. The Governing Board discussed in particular its rules of procedure, its work programme for 2021, a number of administrative decisions, which are necessary for the Centre to start operating, as well as the next steps on the work of the Centre.

The European Cybersecurity Competence Centre and Network of NCCs  plays a key role in delivering on the EU Cybersecurity Strategy, aimed to ensure that all citizens and businesses are safer from cyber threats, to make physical and digital critical entities more resilient and to build a global, open, stable and secure cyberspace.

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