Cybersecurity: MEPs strengthen EU-wide requirements against threats

On October 28, the European Parliament adopted a a cybersecurity legislative text seetting tighter requirements for businesses, administrations and states.

According to the legislative text adopted by the Industry CommitteeEU countries would have to meet stricter supervisory and enforcement measures, and harmonise their sanctions regimes.

Compared to the existing legislation, the new directive would oblige more entities and sectors to take measures. “Essential sectors” such as the energy, transport, banking, health, digital infrastructure, public administration and space sectors would be covered by the new security provisions. In addition, the new rules would also protect so-called “important sectors” such as postal services, waste management, chemicals, food, manufacturing of medical devices, electronics, machinery, motor vehicles and digital providers. All medium-sized and large companies in selected sectors would be covered by the legislation.

Concretely, the requirements include incident response, supply chain security, encryption and vulnerability disclosure, among other provisions. Member states would be able to identify smaller entities with a high security risk profile, while cybersecurity would become the responsibility of the highest managerial level.

The directive also establishes a framework for better cooperation and information sharing between different authorities and member states and creates a European vulnerability database.

The original cybersecurity directive was set up in 2017. However, EU countries implemented it in different ways, thereby fragmenting the single market, which led to insufficient levels of cybersecurity. Given the current high level of cybersecurity threats, this updated legislation is much needed, say MEPs.

The draft negotiating mandate - the report - was adopted with 70 votes to 3, with 1 abstention. MEPs also voted to open negotiations with Council with 71 votes to 2, with 1 abstention.

The mandate will be announced in plenary session on 10 November.

PSCE addressed the ESA Space2Connect Conference

On October 12, PSCE’s Secretary-General Marie-Christine Bonnamour presented the needs of Public Safety in terms of satellite communications at the European Space Agency (ESA) Space2Connect conference that took place between 11 and 14 October.  

Our attendance at ESA’s event provided a unique opportunity to reiterate the importance of satellite applications for public safety but also to address ongoing challenges faced by the sector. In particular, when asked what are the challenges faced by the sector with a fragmented European market, Ms Bonnamour referred to the existing tool helping to aggregate demand, the PCP Broadway, which counts with 11 buyers for boosting innovation. Additionally, PSCE’s Secretary-General underlined that the public safety sector needs to use interoperable solutions — standardization and certification elements — in response to its cross-border nature. 

The full intervention was recorded and is available on this page (session 5). 

About Space2Connect 

Space2Connect is a place to explore and discuss emerging space-based solutions for today’s and tomorrow’s digital economy. Giving an outline across the whole satcom upstream and downstream business value chain, we aim to foster partnerships and inspire new strategies for technology development and market growth. 

The conference consists of both plenary and parallel sessions with virtual networking opportunities. The opening plenary sessions are where manufacturers, satellite operators, space agencies, small companies, entrepreneurs, technical experts and investors are encouraged to quiz executive-level guests who deliver keynote speeches. 

During parallel sessions at Space2Connect we will continue to exchange ideas, share plans, develop relationships, and seek inspiration to thrive in the new space age. You will be able to choose from a wide range of topics showing the latest developments in advanced technology, products and services for satellite communications, discuss the role of space in rail and maritime transport, explore how space-enabled 5G/6G connectivity is transforming society, and much more

PSCE welcomes the Commission’s Work Programme for 2022

On 19 October, the European Commission adopted its 2022 Work Programme, setting out the next steps in its bold and transformative agenda towards a post-COVID-19 Europe that is greener, fairer, more digital and more resilient. This Commission Work Programme contains 42 new policy initiatives across all six headline ambitions of President von der Leyen's Political Guidelines, building on her 2021 State of the Union speech. It also reflects the lessons learnt from the unprecedented crisis caused by the pandemic.

Cybersecurity has been mentioned especially in relation to one of six headline ambitionsof President von der Leyen's Political Guidelines: 'A Europe fit for the digital age'. Among others, the Commission will propose a European Cyber Resilience Act to establish common cybersecurity standards, and begin building an EU space-based global secure communications system to provide additional EU-wide broadband connectivity and secure independent communications to Member States.

Final phase of BroadWay PCP: providing live useable pilot systems for PPDR operational mobility

The final of the three-phase BroadWay Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) gets underway on 8th October 2021. This is initiated by signature of awarded contracts to the two first ranked consortia of the Phase 3 call-off competition, following their successful completion of the Phase 2 (Prototype Phase). The consortia in phase 3 (Pilot Phase) are led by Airbus DS and Frequentis AG.

The consortia will be tasked with taking their prototypes into live useable pilot systems that will be further evaluated by the BroadWay Practitioner Evaluation Team (PEVT). The final BroadWay pilot is required to reach Technology Readiness Level 8 representing a ‘complete’ and fully operational system achieving the best performance possible for all 11 BroadWay Objectives. A primarily goal for phase 3 aims for both pilot systems to be interconnected and provided as-a-service. This seeks the widest operational possibility of the pilot system(s), providing standardised mission critical services to realise Operational Mobility, and will allow practitioners to evaluate the systems in their own operational way.

As recently stated in its conclusions of the 7th of June 20211, the European Council emphasizes the importance of secure operational and EU interoperable communication for law enforcement agencies and other security practitioners to be able to properly protect and respond in case of cross-border cooperation in the area of public spaces and major events’, and ‘invites member states to further support EU initiatives aiming at the improvement of existing systems and EU-wide interoperable communication systems for public security, notably the Horizon 2020 BroadWay project’.

BroadWay is actively contributing to improving the Operational Mobility of all PPDR practitioners and thus facilitate cross-border operations and cooperation. Operational Mobility will allow practitioners to operate wherever they are, whenever they need to, and with whoever they are tasked to cooperate.

BroadWay pilots will concretely show how it is possible for firefighters, policemen or emergency units to move from their country to another country and to remain seamlessly connected to their operational hierarchy, control, and colleagues in the field.

The BroadWay Group of Procurers includes 11 ministries or their delegated agency responsible for providing public safety communication capabilities in their country. They currently provide mobile communication services to 1.4 million responders across Europe. The countries involved in the BroadWay PCP include: Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Ireland, The Netherlands, Romania and Spain. This group of procurer is led by ASTRID, the operator for emergency and security communication services in Belgium.

Launch of CORE EU-project to improve resilience to disasters

Last 30 September and 1 October 2021 in Napoli (Italy), the CORE consortium was ready to participate in the Kick-off meeting hosted by ISSNOVA with the joint organization of the University of Salerno, coordinator of the project. The meeting counted peak of 40 representatives of the 19 members that form CORE Consortium and has been held in a mixed form, online and live, due to the COVID emergency.

The context
The devastating effects of recent natural and man-made phenomena have once again highlighted the gaps in disaster preparedness in European society, highlighting the importance of increasing risk awareness and community resilience. Increased awareness of risks by society, together with readiness and the ability to apply optimal procedures during an emergency, would undoubtedly make populations more resilient. Having a better prepared society means reducing human losses during a catastrophic impact event, limiting damage, thereby reducing post-emergency reconstruction costs and speeding up recovery.

CORE in a nutshell
CORE (sCience and human factOrs for Resilient sociEty) is an EU project funded by the European Commission under Horizon2020 Programme. Its main objective is to make the social communities better prepared to face and overcome disasters, through a trans-disciplinary collaboration between scientific and humanistic areas. Defining at best the expected scenarios and the difficulties of individuals and socio-economic structures is essential to make recoveries more effective and efficient. In addition, a particular attention will be paid to the most vulnerable groups during such disasters: the disabled, the elderly, people in economic difficulties, women, and children.

Plan of action
CORE Consortium is composed of 19 international institutions including research institutes, universities, practitioners, municipalities, emergency and humanitarian associations coordinated by Prof. Paolo Capuano, professor of Geophysics at the Physics Department of the University of Salerno. Starting from different case studies (earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, terrorist attacks, industrial accidents, Covid-19), the project will provide solutions to populations on how to prepare for, cope with and overcome the effects of devastating events. Great attention will be paid to education in schools, training activities and communication through social media. One of the challenges of the project will be to create an APP that will provide the population with useful information on how to behave in emergency situations and increase their level of preparedness.

Stay tuned!

In the following weeks, the CORE consortium will release its website and blog where you will be informed of all our activities.

You may download the full story here: Final_CORE_Press_Release_-_06.10.2021.pdf