Responding to increased cybersecurity concerns, the EU has stepped up its cybersecurity engagement with the Western Balkans, beginning with a rapid response project with Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia. The project is implemented by the e-Governance Academy (eGA).
The rapid response project provides 1.8 million euros to strengthen cybersecurity governance, giving advice on adjusting the cybersecurity legislation and strengthening the professional training of Computer Security Incident Response Teams to respond to cyber crises.
According to Merle Maigre, Programm Director of Cybersecurity in the e-Governance Academy the project is a first step to improving overall cyber resilience in the Western Balkans in compliance with EU acquis and best practices and helping secure the critical infrastructure of the EU and our Western Balkan partners.
„eGA team is ready to provide stakeholders in Albania, Montenegro, and North Macedonia with the impactful improvement of the cybersecurity management and cyber incident response. We will use the best practice of Estonia and other EU member states that are skilled and trained to cope with cyber threats to keep the digital economies running, “ Merle Maigre said.
As part of promoting the EU’s vision on cyberspace, May 2022 Council Conclusions on Cyber Posture stressed the importance of making cyber issues an integral part of the Union accession negotiations and the EU’s strategic and political dialogues with international partners. The June 2022 EU-Western Balkans leaders’ meeting reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to improving the resilience of the Western Balkans partners to hybrid threats and in particular cyber-threats and disinformation. In this vein, a Cybersecurity Study on the Western Balkans was carried out by the e-Governance Academy in the first semester of 2022.
The EU support project: “Cybersecurity Rapid Response project for Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia” lasts from August 2022 to July 2023. The objective of the project is to provide a rapid response to an increased cyber security threat level by supporting partner countries in improving their resilience to attacks in compliance with EU acquis and best practices. The expected outcomes of the action are strengthened governance structures and improved cybersecurity incident and risk management in Albania, Montenegro, and North Macedonia. The total budget is EUR 1 834 655. E-Governance Academy from Estonia (EGA) is the implementer of the project. The project is a part of the EU’s Cyber Posture and activities to deepen the cyber resilience cooperation of the EU and the Western Balkans partners.