On 6 February, the EU Member States decided to develop a cyber platform within the European Security and Defence College (ESDC). Its task will include activities in the fields of education, training, evaluation and exercises. Only six months later, on 20 November 2018, the Head of the ESDC, Mr. Dirk Dubois, was in a position to announce that the cyber platform had initial operating capability (IOC).
During the inauguration ceremony of the cyber ETEE platform at the Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels, Dirk Dubois highlighted the ESDC’s achievements in the cyber field, which have been brought about owing to Member States’ contributions. He also reminded the audience of the strategic objective of the newly created cyber platform which, for instance, creates a pool of cyber experts, strengthening the strategic autonomy of the European Union. He stated that
‘Given that both IT hardware and software remain almost exclusively in the hands of companies outside the EU, we need to step up our efforts in the cyber field in order to ensure our strategic autonomy in a sector that is crucial for our economy, our security and our defence.’
The cyber task force, which was established within ESDC structures, currently comprises three persons. This task force will be increased by another three cyber experts. The ESDC network of Member States’ cyber training institutions has been growing steadily and will most probably exceed 70 by January 2019. Cooperation has already started with EU partners, such as ENISA, EU-ISS, CERT-EU, EDA and EUROPOL.
The declaration of the IOC was published under the auspices of the Cypriot Minister of Defence, Mr. Savvas Angelides. The Head of the ESDC stressed the need for close cooperation in the field of cybersecurity.
‘The initial arrangements in cyber security and defence training has shown a relatively stove-piped approach. The aim of the Cyber ETEE platform is to break through this top-down approach, as the ESDC has done in other fields of training, and to harmonise and where necessary standardise curricula based on a learning outcome approach in line with EQF standards.’
Background: The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a translation tool that helps understand and compare qualifications awarded in different countries and by different education and training systems. Its eight levels are described in terms of learning outcomes: knowledge, skills and competences
Further information about the EQF standards can be found on https://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/europass-support-centre/other-questions/what-european-qualification-framework-eqf