EU-US Cybersecurity Policy Coming Together

Policy Brief

The need for more US–EU collaboration on cybersecurity policy has been identified by policymakers and diplomats from the EU and the US in their official Cyber Dialogues 2018 and 2019 as well as by international cybersecurity policy scholars. As the EU shapes its cybersecurity policies and fosters coordination among member states, cooperation at the EU level becomes more important to the US. EU–US cooperation to achieve shared policy goals such as prosecution and prevention of cybercrime has already resulted in implementing policy instruments together such as a joint exercise or information-sharing agreement specifically on cybercrime. Nevertheless, on a broader strategic level and with the focus on responses to malicious cyber-activities, concrete steps forward have been difficult to achieve in an environment where the EU and the US grapple with an ever-changing threat landscape that targets their values and ways of life and has made them focus on developing further their own processes and policy approaches in 2018–2020. 

This paper sets out to find actions that the EU and US can implement together. It takes a practical approach by first identifying joint strategic goals and analysing the commonalities of EU and US cybersecurity policy. This allows a broader perspective on what the EU and US joint strategic goals really are, and what is feasible to do together. It is important to take account of the limitations and divergences that, as many others have pointed out, make cooperation difficult, but this paper uses them more as a means to find which instruments are actually feasible. Anyone who is interested to learn more about the EU and US, as well as those who are looking to find a way forward for transatlantic cooperation, will find glimpses of hope here and there in a policy field where it cannot be denied that the EU and US diverge as much as they converge. 

Published by: 
EU Cyber Direct
November 26, 2020