We live in an ever more connected and interdependent world, but our connections could be used against us by malicious actors, while our interdependencies might become vulnerabilities in certain cases. The Russian aggression against Ukraine has dramatically changed the geopolitical landscape in Europe and the former Soviet region, and we are now fully aware that we need to develop interregional connectivity, across the Eastern Partnership and the Black Sea region and reaching Central Asia more securely, considering EU strategic autonomy imperatives and digital/new technology advances.With these words, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) initiated the regional workshop on “Protecting Connectivity Infrastructure and improving Cybersecurity” last week in Bucharest, Romania. It was organised in cooperation with the Romanian MFA, under the auspices of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC). The workshop provided an opportunity for delegates from nine European, Eastern Partnership, Black Sea and Central Asian countries to improve their knowledge of the state of play and the level of ambition of EU connectivity initiatives towards the east, such as the Global Gateway, and also the various connectivity projects under development. It also provided an opportunity for delegates to discuss how best to strengthen cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection frameworks in the region. Finally, delegates discussed how to better prepare for crises, looking into options for establishing operational level cooperation, as well as increasing knowledge of EU and other international crisis management mechanisms. The ESDC would like to thank all speakers for their exceptional contributions and valuable suggestions, and all delegates for their active participation and commitment. Special thanks go to diplomatic counsellor Alina Doroftei for her excellent organisation of the workshop.
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