Event Details

European Cyber Agora 2024

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As the European Union steers through the dynamic geopolitical landscape of cybersecurity and disruptive technologies, the European Cyber Agora Conference returns in 2024 with a renewed commitment to fostering cross-sectoral dialogue and collaboration in the face of evolving digital challenges. Building on the successes of previous years, this conference stands as a pivotal platform for addressing the pressing issues at the intersection of technology, policy, and geopolitics.

Join us for engaging high-level panel discussions featuring representatives from EU institutions, national governments, cybersecurity agencies, civil society, academia, and industry. Explore workshops led by the Agora expert community, which delve into topics including cybersecurity policy, the future of cyber diplomacy, the geopolitics of AI, the role of the private sector in hybrid conflict, election security, influence operations, cyber mercenaries, cyber skills, and more.

The European Cyber Agora is facilitated by Microsoft, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and EU Cyber Direct


09:15 – 09:30
Welcome and registration
09:30 – 09:45
Opening remarks
09:45 – 10:00
10:00 – 11:00
Armchair discussion
AI, Transatlantic Alignment, and Geopolitics
The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) brings to the fore significant geopolitical issues for the European Union (EU) – globally and within the transatlantic partnership. The race to be first to develop and adopt AI technologies to harness economic advantage, establish technological supremacy, and have influence over global norms and standards means that the EU needs to determine whether and how it would align its approaches, instruments and resources with United States as well as other like-minded partners. Moreover, powerhouses need to assess how much room for cooperation there is in the global governance of AI.
11:00 – 11:15
Cyber Community Spotlight Session
11:15 – 11:45
Networking coffee break
11:45 – 12:45
Parallel workshops
Workshop 1
Navigating the EU Cybersecurity Policy Landscape
The adoption of a number of critical measures designed to enhance the cybersecurity of the European online environment in recent years, has made navigating the regulatory environment more complex. It mirrors the evolving nature of cybersecurity challenges and requires stakeholders to possess a nuanced understanding of the threat and regulatory landscapes and ability to adapt swiftly. Rooted in a prior stocktaking exercise of existing EU cybersecurity policies, this session will not only unveil the outcomes, but offer concrete recommendations for the next EU Commission.

Workshop 2

Guarding the Ballot: Countering Influence Operations during Electoral Processes

This panel addresses the raising threat of foreign influence operations during electoral processes. Against the background of 4 billion citizens set to vote this year globally, including 400 million in the EU, the panelists will discuss the evolving tactics used by malicious actors in this domain. Specifically, this panel will look at the intricate challenges posed by artificial intelligence in shaping electoral outcomes, as well as potential defensive measures.
12:45 – 14:00
14:00 – 14:15
Cyber Community Spotlight Session
14:15 – 15:15
Armchair discussion
Fostering Global Cooperation: Combating Cybercrime
Cybercrime remains a growing problem, set to cost the world trillions of dollars each year. In our interconnected world, cybercrime transcends borders, necessitating collaboration across sectors and nations. There is no question that an effective international cooperation framework against cybercriminal activity would be beneficial to aid the international community to fight the scourge of cybercrime. In this panel, experts will discuss existing strategies for information sharing, joint investigations, and coordinated responses to combat cybercriminal networks effectively. In particular, the panel will focus on the ongoing cybercrime treaty negotiations at the United Nations and their potential impact on global cooperation efforts - examining whether the risks of a new treaty outweigh its potential benefits.
15:15 – 15:45
Coffee break
15:45 – 16:45
Parallel workshops
Workshop 3
Mitigating the Grey Zone: Diplomatic Strategies and Policies for Sub-threshold Cyber Nation-State Operations
The new normal in cyberspace is a continuous barrage of low-intensity operations, executed by states or state-affiliated actors. This panel will explore the intricacies of this persistent background noise and examine their implications for the framework of Responsible State Behaviour. The panel will also explore the need for integrated preventive actions and diplomatic responses as a way to improve accountability in cyberspace. It will touch on what can be learnt from other domains, and explore the unique role Europe can play in this space.

Workshop 4

Foreign Policy & Technology: Safeguarding Democracies in the Digital Age
Democracy has been under pressure in recent years. Public trust is declining. Also, technology has become an element of foreign and economic policy, and a weaponized instrument across some states, in terms of industrial policies and economic security measures. The panel will explore how the EU, the U.S. and like-minded partners can work together to address these challenges and the need to promote democracy-affirming technologies that ensure resilient global supply chains, human rights, and open, global Internet.
16:45 – 17:00
Cyber Community Spotlight Session
17:00 - 18:00
Armchair discussion
Different approaches, same goal: how a harmonized cyber security policy supports aspirations of Western Balkan states
This discussion will address the imperative task of harmonizing cybersecurity policies for nations aspiring to join the European Union. Our experts will explore the evolving landscape of cybersecurity expectations, providing insights into the policies, technologies, and collaborative efforts essential for ensuring a secure digital future within the EU framework. The panel will explore the funding and training opportunities available, as well as highlight how the multistakeholder community can support this process.
18:00 - 20:00
09:00 – 09:30
Welcome & Registrations
09:30 – 10:30
Armchair discussion
Charting the Course: The Future of Multistakeholder Cyber Diplomacy Beyond 2025
The digital world has from the start been envisioned as governed by the multistakeholder community rather than a single group or organization. However, this governance framework exists alongside established institutions which were often developed with just governments in mind. This panel will envision the future of cyber diplomacy, exploring the challenges that existing structures pose to multistakeholder partnership and the opportunities put forward by creating new international fora and ways of working together – not just across stakeholder groups, but geographic borders.
10:30 – 11:00
Coffee Break
11:00 – 12:00
Parallel workshops
Workshop 5
Cyber mercenaries: The Search for Policy Solutions
In recent years a cyber mercenary industry, developing, selling, and supporting offensive cyber capabilities, has emerged. Its rapid growth threatens the stability and security of shared online and physical environments. The lack of specific legislation to deter and control the cyber mercenaries' market is a serious problem. While some governments have used such tools, there are countries taking the lead, such as through the Pall Mall Process and other multistakeholder initiatives. What policy mandate is needed to address this issue?

Workshop 6

Advancing Cyber Skills in the EU: Reflections One Year after the EU Cybersecurity Academy Launch
Embark on a journey into the evolving landscape of EU cyber skills one year after the inception of the EU Cybersecurity Academy. Delve into discussions surrounding the progress, challenges, and transformative impacts within the realm of cyber education. Experts will reflect on achievements, share insights into emerging trends, and explore avenues for further development, shaping the trajectory of cybersecurity skills in Europe.

12:00 – 13:00
13:00 – 14:00
Parallel Workshops
Workshop 7
Deciphering Intersections: Cyber-Attacks and Disinformation
In recent years, the nexus of cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns emerged as a complex and unique challenge, threatening to undermine both the cybersecurity of our most critical assets and democracy. The panel will investigate some of the recent examples of state actors leveraging both cyberattacks and information operations to achieve their goals explore the nuanced relationship between cyber threats and disinformation as experts dissect the intricate connections. From coordinated disinformation efforts amplifying cyber attacks to manipulating public perception, this exploration sheds light on the broader landscape, offering insights to strengthen resilience against these intertwined challenges in the digital realm.

Workshop 8

Forging Cyber Resilient Futures: A GC3B Reflective Exploration
Embark on a journey of reflection and foresight in this panel dedicated to the critical theme of cyber capacity building. Inspired by the rich discussions at the Global Conference on Cyber Capacity Building (GC3B) in 2023, our distinguished panelists will unravel the intricacies of the conference's four pillars: Cyber Resilience for Development, Collaboration to Secure the Digital Ecosystem, Cyber Capacity Building for the Stability and Security of the Digital Environment, and Solutions for Safeguarding Development from Digital Risks and Threats. This session is a nuanced exploration that not only reviews the insights gleaned from GC3B but propels us into the future. Anticipate a dynamic dialogue as experts draw upon the conference's goals, seeking to catalyze global action for cyber resilience in international development.
14:00 – 14:30
Coffee Break
14:30 – 14:45
Cyber Community Spotlight Session
14:45 – 15:45
Armchair discussion
The Role of the Private Sector during Hybrid Conflict
The private sector underpins a growing number of essential services from the provision of water to communication and ensuring critical government services. Technology companies also build and operate the online environment and as a result play an important role as a first responder in the face of hybrid threats and conflicts. As a result, a closer look at the shared responsibility and collaboration between the private and public sectors in ensuring our online environment is safe and secure, is warranted. This become even more critical during conflict. The panel will explore the potential opportunities to strengthen cross-sector responses while also addressing legitimate concerns of both private and public entities.
15:45 – 16:00
Closing remarks
16:00 – 17:00
16:00 – 19:00
Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) Europe Regional Meeting
The field of cyber capacity building is rapidly maturing. The Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE), as the multi-stakeholder platform for cyber capacity building, supports and addresses the needs of the community while reducing fragmentation of efforts.

The objective of this year’s Regional Meeting is to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss priorities for cyber capacity building in Europe and disseminate inputs to develop agendas for other regions, enhancing the GFCE Regional Hubs' (Africa, Pacific, South-East Asia, the Americas and the Caribbean) presence. The meeting will also be an opportunity to update the community on the ongoing process around the Global Conference on Cyber Capacity Building (GC3B), which held its inaugural session in Accra, Ghana in November 2023. Preparations are underway for the upcoming May 2025 GC3B to be held in Geneva, Switzerland.