On 9 July 2015 the European Parliament published its European agenda on security, setting out the current situation of security in the European Union before identifying three key areas upon which efforts should be focused: terrorism, radicalism and cybercrime.
The European Parliament recognises the significant threat that cybercrime poses to both businesses and individuals and emphasises that terrorist organisations and organised criminal groups are increasingly using cyberspace to facilitate different avenues of crime. The emphasis on cybercrime follows previous announcements by both EU institutions and cybersecurity experts advocating the need for international cooperation and an overall cybercrime centre to counter the global growth of cybercrime. In order to achieve this a number of counter security methods were set out in the agenda, including:
- Calling on the European Commission to perform a thorough analysis of law enforcement powers available to tackle this problem and also launch a corresponding awareness and preparedness campaign to promote the threats of cybercrime
- Highlighting the importance of research and innovation and the need to have a competitive EU security industry to encourage growth within Europe’s security sector
The European Parliament also welcomed the work undertaken by the European Cybercrime Centre (‘EC3’) in fighting serious transnational cybercrime and reiterated the need to support this institution with the funds and expertise that it requires to be effective.
The developing threat of cybercrime is beginning to be pushed to the fore of many policy makers’ thoughts and with such large privacy implications and financial risk at stake when huge databases are breached there is good reason for this concern. Whether drastic changes are made in cybercrime governance is yet to be seen, but with a new Cybersecurity Directive expected changes could be sooner rather than later.