Joint Framework on countering hybrid threats



6 April 2016


European Commission (Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union)


This Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council focuses on several concrete steps towards a European Union response against hybrid threats.

Specifically, it calls for concrete actions such as:

  • the launch by Member States of a hybrid risk survey to identify key vulnerabilities affecting national and pan European structures and networks;
  • the creation of an EU Hybrid Fusion Cell within the existing EU INTCEN structure to receive and analyse classified and open source information on hybrid threats;
  • coordination with Members States to deliver proactive strategic communications and optimise use of media monitoring and linguistic specialists;
  • the possible institution of a Centre of Excellence for ‘countering hybrid threats’;
  • the improvement of the protection and resilience of critical infrastructure against hybrid threats in relevant sectors, including nuclear infrastructures, transport critical infrastructure, space infrastructure;
  • the improvement of awareness of and resilience to hybrid threats within existing preparedness and coordination mechanisms, notably the Health Security Committee;
  • the establishment and full use of a network between the 28 CSIRTs and the CERT-EU as well as a framework for strategic cooperation;
  • a contractual Public Private Partnership for cybersecurity;
  • guidance by the Commission to smart grid asset owners to improve cybersecurity of their installations. (e.g risk preparedness);
  • promotion and facilitation of threat information-sharing platforms and networks;
  • the use of the Action Plan on Terrorist Financing to contribute to countering hybrid threats, as well as the reinforcement of procedures for removing illegal content, calling on intermediaries’ due diligence;
  • the launch of a hybrid risk survey in neighbourhood regions;
  • the possible deployment of CSDP missions to assist partners in enhancing their capacities;
  • the establishment of a common operational protocol and regular exercises to improve strategic decision-making capacity;
  • the examination by the Commission and the High Representative of the applicability and practical implications of Articles 222 TFEU and Article 42(7) TEU in case a wide-ranging and serious hybrid attack occurs;
  • the continuation of the informal dialogue and enhanced cooperation and coordination with NATO on situational awareness, strategic communications, cybersecurity and “crisis prevention and response” to counter hybrid threats.