Protecting Europe: The EU’s response to hybrid threats
The EU takes hybrid threats seriously and has designed an array of policies to counter them. Its main focus is the ongoing crises beyond its borders, throughout its eastern and southern neighbourhoods. In Ukraine and elsewhere, the EU is trying to counter hostile Russian actions. But its countermeasures are focused inwards too as its own member states come under attack. These measures are helping more generally to ‘future-proof’ the EU tself, to shore up its own internal structures and networks in the face of a rapidly shifting international landscape.They are helping Europe respond to powers such as China and the use of new technologies such as 5G. These countermeasures now cover everything from the European digital economy to its cyber, maritime, space and energy domains. But they play a particularly important role in three sectors, namely the security of EU borders, its critical infrastructure and the information environment. These three fields constitute quite literally the nuts and bolts of the European Union. Protecting them means defending the very cornerstones of the EU – the three fields are vital to the continued integration of the European economy and to the health of the democratic institutions underpinning it. Predictably, they are the subject of our in-depth case studies.
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