Belgium, Slovenia join Lithuanian-coordinated EU cyber force

  • 2023-03-08
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Belgium and Slovenia on Wednesday signed a diplomatic note and officially joined the Lithuania-coordinated cyber rapid response force, the Baltic country's Ministry of National Defense said.

"Congratulations to Belgium and Slovenia on joining this cyber security initiative. Hostile cyber activity levels have increased since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. In times like these, our joint efforts to mitigate the growing threats are of utmost importance," National Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas was quoted as saying in a statement released by his ministry.

Launched in 2018 and coordinated by Lithuania, the EU's Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) Cyber Rapid Response Teams And Mutual Assistance In Cyber Security project is a permanent capability that can be used both within the EU and also to support EU partners and EU military missions and operations under the Common Security and Defense Policy.

Currently, a Cyber Rapid Response Team consists of 8-12 nationally-delegated cyber security experts from six EU member states, including Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania.

Such a team can be activated in response to cyber incidents and crises, as well as a preventive measure, for example, to assess vulnerability and monitor elections.

The number of participants has increased to eight after Belgium and Slovenia joined the force.