Press Release

EU Boost against cyberattacks: EU Agency for Cybersecurity welcomes proposal for the Joint Cyber Unit

The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity welcomes the European Commission proposal to launch the new Joint Cyber Unit which will act as a platform to ensure an EU coordinated response to large-scale cyber incidents and crises.

Published on June 23, 2021

The concept of the Joint Cyber Unit (JCU), suggested two years ago by European Commission President von der Leyen, is an important step towards completing the European cybersecurity crisis management framework. The EU Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) welcomes the proposal for the Commission Recommendation to build a Joint Cyber Unit and the role it is foreseen to play.

The Cybersecurity Act mandates the Agency to cooperate at the operational level and establish synergies with Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies. The JCU helps the Agency to achieve this in a structural manner.

The support the EU Agency for Cybersecurity would provide to building a Joint Cyber Unit comes as a reinforcement of the provisions set out in the Cybersecurity Act, which has widened the scope of the activities of the Agency. This new initiative is an important step on how the Agency can further contribute to achieve a higher common level of cybersecurity within the European Union.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said: "Cybersecurity is a cornerstone of a digital and connected Europe. And in today’s society, responding to threats in a coordinated manner is paramount. The Joint Cyber Unit will contribute to that goal. Together we can really make a difference.”

Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, said: "The recent ransomware attacks should serve as a warning that we must protect ourselves against threats that could undermine our security and our European Way of Life. Today, we can no longer distinguish between online and offline threats. We need to pool all our resources to defeat cyber risks and enhance our operational capacity. Building a trusted and secure digital world, based on our values, requires commitment from all, including law enforcement.”

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, said: "Today we have put in place an ambitious building block in protecting ourselves from cyber threats that are evolving rapidly and are becoming more complex. We have set clear milestones and timelines that will allow us to concretely improve crisis management cooperation in the EU. The Joint4 Cyber Unit leverages the expertise that is scattered across Europe and will enable us to not only detect threats but also react faster.”

Juhan Lepassaar, EU Agency for Cybersecurity Executive Director said: The EU Agency for Cybersecurity is committed to support the Union and its Member States in the response to cyberattacks. The Joint Cyber Unit will build stronger relationships within the cybersecurity ecosystem and shape an effective framework for crisis management. Our future local office in Brussels will operate closely with the Unit to coordinate response, create situational awareness and ensure preparedness in times of crisis.”

Cybersecurity Ecosystem Infographic

Joint cyber unit info

EU Agency for Cybersecurity office in Brussels

While the Agency’s headquarters remain in Athens, a bridge-head has become important to coordinate activities such as operational cooperation and incident response. By establishing this local office in Belgium, ENISA’s work will be further strengthened as a Brussels base will facilitate the implementation of the operational cooperation activities foreseen by the Cybersecurity Act. ENISA is dedicated to ensure that its seat in Greece will remain and expand in the coming years.

Today, the European Commission gave their consent to the establishment of an ENISA office in Brussels while the Management Board of the EU Agency for Cybersecurity had already provided their prior consent. The Agency also received the positive opinion of the Hellenic and Belgian authorities.

The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity will serve as secretariat for the preparatory phase of the JCU. Therefore, the Unit will be physically located next to the new Brussels office of the EU Agency for Cybersecurity and the Computer Emergency Response Team for the EU institutions, bodies and agencies (CERT-EU).

The Joint Cyber Unit and the role of the EU Agency for Cybersecurity

The Joint Cyber Unit is considered as a concrete deliverable of the EU Cybersecurity Strategy and the EU Security Union Strategy to contribute to a secure digital economy and society. It aims to connect a number of cybersecurity communities using a common space designed to foster cooperation and allow existing networks to realise their full potential.

EU Agency for Cybersecurity’s role in operational cooperation

The role of ENISA is to support operational cooperation among Member States, Union Institutions, Bodies, Offices and Agencies. ENISA is mandated to ensure that an effective cooperation framework is in place among the operational actors within the Union in case of large-scale cross-border cyberattacks and crises. By coordinating both the secretariat of the EU CyCLONe and the CSIRTs Network, ENISA aims at synchronising the technical and operational levels and all actors involved in the EU to collaborate and respond to large-scale incidents and crises by providing the best tools and support.

Further Information

European Commission PR - EU Cybersecurity: Commission proposes a Joint Cyber Unit to step up response to large-scale security incidents

Factsheet: Joint Cyber Unit

Infographic: EU Cybersecurity Ecosystem

Recommendation on building a Joint Cyber Unit

European Commission PR - Establishment of a local office presence of ENISA in Brussels, Belgium

Cybersecurity Act

EU Cybersecurity Strategy


ENISA and CERT-EU sign Agreement to start their structured cooperation

ENISA topic: Cybercrisis Management

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