Event Details

Building resilience in and with the Western Balkans: Converging approaches and divisive external threats

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On February 13th, the EU Cyber Direct hosted a workshop in collaboration with the EU Institute for Security Studies titled 'Strengthening Resilience to Cyber-Enabled Hybrid Operations in the Western Balkans.'

The workshop aimed to address challenges that Western Balkans partners face in the domains of cybersecurity, foreign information manipulation and interference (FIMI), and hybrid threats more broadly. The focus of the workshop was a scenario-based exercise on cyber and disinformation threats, fostering a practical, hands-on approach to both identifying and countering these threats.

Participants were tasked with evaluating the severity of each scenario step and assessing potential national and transnational responses. The exercise encompassed structured questions and open segments to encourage discussion between Western Balkans partners and the EU. This mixed-method approach allowed participants to identify specific requirements where sharing of good practices, training activities, and further exchanges could be beneficial.

The workshop also featured an examination of cyber-enabled hybrid threats within the context of elections. Participants engaged in evaluating unfolding scenarios and deliberated on the most plausible courses of action at both national and transnational levels. Ahead of the workshop, participants received a briefing package outlining the scenario's background, relevant actors, and setup.