Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Council calls for EU to counter 'hybrid' threats

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Council calls for EU to counter 'hybrid' threats

The European Council has adopted conclusions which call for the EU to strengthen the resilience and counter hybrid threats in the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Council notes that 'new technologies and crises, such as the ongoing pandemic, offer opportunities for hostile actors to expand their interference activities. These pose an additional challenge for the member states and the EU institutions, besides the crisis itself.' The Council has invited the European Commission to develop and implement additional transparency requirements for online platforms in order to promote a 'well-functioning digital public sphere, develop greater accountability and enhance transparency in addressing disinformation.'

The Council has also:

• invited the Commission and the High Representative to 'further enhance responses at EU level, taking into account the economic and societal damage, as well as the possible damage to public health, caused by disinformation and the malign use of newly emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence'

• invited the Commission and the High Representative to 'play an active role in addressing pan-European vulnerabilities, including in ensuring the security and resilience of supply chains as part of economic security, and to propose initiatives designed to strengthen resilience and improve responses as appropriate with due consideration of emerging technologies'

• urged to continue efforts to strengthen the EEAS StratCom Task Forces develop the Rapid Alert System with a view to developing a comprehensive platform for member states and EU institutions

The State Secretary, Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, Markus Kerber, stated: 'The COVID-19 pandemic made clear that intensified efforts are needed to protect the European Union, its Member States and their societies and the EU institutions from hybrid threats and their harmful effects. We must protect our democratic societies and institutions from such threats, notably by enhancing our resilience and further strengthening our tools at EU and Member State level.'

You can view the conclusions here.

Source: Council calls for strengthening resilience and countering hybrid threats, including disinformation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

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