Montag, 18. November 2019, 17:00 - 19:00 iCal

The EU's role in Cyber Security

Between global challenges and internal taxonomies


Centre for European Integration Research (EIF)
Apostelgasse 23, 1030 Wien


The EU has undertaken considerable efforts at cyber law-making over the course of two decades. It has sought to transparently define, regulate and govern some of the most complex challenges of our times. As a legal exercise it is probably unparalleled. Its main characteristics are a rather separate development of cybercrime and cyber security, a complex institutionalisation with both top-down and bottom-up processes, and an important role for private actors. EU cyber action exposes – next to some internal successes – a partially institutionalized field of incomplete and awkwardly non-intersecting competences. The EU even harbours multiple conflicting definitions of cybercrime and multiple working definitions of cyber security.


The EU as a global cyber actor risks becoming an inadequate international partner and particularly an inadequate defence partner. The EU’s mandate to act on cyber issues in international contexts appears increasingly problematic, inconsistent with its own non-intersecting policies and at times strangely ill-thought out (e.g. the Budapest Convention amendment strategy).


The paper focusses upon exposing the dynamics of the imbalances of the external and internal EU cyber action. It argues that cyber law-making must become a holistic and joined-up matter of law. It needs to traverse the internal and external of EU law more explicitly and transparently. Many of the challenges affecting EU law-making in the cyber domain are, however, equally evident at international level. In other words, EU inactions, omissions or regulatory challenges are mirrored similarly at international law level.


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Centre for European Integration Research (EIF)


Florian Sowa
Institut für Politikwissenschaft
Centre for European Integration Research (EIF)