Cyberspace: EU and Ukraine launch dialogue on cyber security

(Source: EEAS)

On 3 June 2021, the European Union and Ukraine held their first cyber dialogue. The EU and Ukraine reaffirmed their commitment to a global, open, stable and secure cyberspace, where the rule of law is fully respected, where the same rights that individuals have offline are also protected online, and where the security, economic growth, prosperity, and integrity of free and democratic societies is promoted and preserved. The EU expressed its solidarity with and support to Ukraine, which is facing cyber-attacks that seek to undermine its key infrastructure.

The EU and Ukraine provided updates on their respective cyber-related institutional settings, responsibilities as well as policy and legislative developments, including the update of the EU Network Information Security (NIS) Directive and the efforts by Ukraine to develop its cybersecurity-related policies and legislation, in alignment with the EU legal and institutional framework.

Particular focus was put on matters pertaining to coordination and cooperation in international fora, with the aim to bolster cyber resilience and advance responsible state behaviour in cyberspace. In this regard, the parties reaffirmed their commitment to promote the establishment of a Programme of Action to advance responsible state behaviour in cyberspace within the United Nations. Participants welcomed continued progress on increasing global capacities to better prevent, protect against, detect, mitigate, deter, and respond to malicious cyber activities and underlined the need for coordination and cooperation in order to secure a global, open, stable and secure cyberspace.

The EU and Ukraine reaffirmed the importance of the Budapest Convention that serves as a solid basis for national legislation and international cooperation in fighting cybercrime, committed to the swift adoption of the draft Second Additional Protocol to enhance cooperation on cybercrime and electronic evidence, and confirmed to continue to seek and promote international cooperation to tackle cybercrime effectively in regional and international fora. Ukraine presented its work towards the implementation of the Budapest Convention provisions into national legislation, namely the draft legislative acts amending the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine and the Code on Administrative Offences. Both drafts have been approved by the Committee of the Ukrainian Parliament and are awaiting for relevant consideration.

The meeting also addressed the digital transformation and capacity building activities contributing to cyber resilience and to tackling cybercrime in Ukraine and globally. The EU and Ukraine highlighted the importance of cyber security as an important element in ensuring trust in the digital transformation efforts and committed to stepping up the support in this area.

Participants highlighted the importance of advancing the dialogue on cyber issues and achieve further tangible results in this cooperation.

The dialogue was co-chaired on the EU side by Joanneke Balfoort, the Director of Security and Defence Policy at the European External Action Service and Jakub Boratynski, the Deputy to the Director and Head of Unit for cybersecurity and digital privacy policy in the European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, and by Maryna Mykhailenko, Director-General for the EU and NATO at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. A number of EU Member States took part as observers.

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