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What is European Union cyber security strategy? Insights after my meeting with European Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska

by Magda CHELLY October 15, 2017

On the 9th of October 2017, I was invited by Polish Ambassador Zenon Kosiniak-Kamysz with other Polish professionals in Singapore to meet Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska and her team, including the Head of Cabinet Dr. Tomasz Husak, Head of Unit Iwona Piorko Bermig and Jakub Cebula. It has been a great privilege and an honour to have the opportunity to share with them about cybersecurity and to discuss the importance of the topic for the European Union.


On the picture: Magda Chelly with Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Singapore 2017

On the picture: Magda Chelly with Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Singapore 2017


Elżbieta Bieńkowska is a Polish politician who was appointed as Poland's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development and Transport before being designated as European Commissioner by Jean-Claude Juncker in 2014.

The Commission is fulfilled with the College of Commissioners of 28 members, including the President and Vice-Presidents. The Commissioners, one from each EU country, are the Commission's political leadership during a 5-year term. Each Commissioner is allocated responsibility for specific policy areas by the President. The term of Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska is still going for three more years.

The responsibilities of Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska are various and related to the strategy for completing the single market for goods and services, including extending the list of products to be recognised in all EU countries, the strong and high-performing industrial base for EU internal market, the defence markets and the right regulatory conditions for the development of space applications and services in Europe and delivering innovative projects such as Copernicus and GALILEO.

With the growing importance of cybersecurity, the European Union encourages synergies between cyber defence efforts. The Joint Communication on a Cyber Security Strategy defines measures to boost the cyber resilience of IT systems, diminish cybercrime and reinforce EU international cybersecurity policy and cyber defence. Cybersecurity training is as well an important initiative within the strategy and is undeniably encouraged.

The first EU Cyber security strategy was developed in 2013, and it defined strategic goals and actions to create a comprehensible international cyberspace policy for the EU. In 2015, the European Agenda on Security was developed.

Since that time, important steps have been taken place. One of the important development was around the second mandate for the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA). ENISA offers advice and recommendations on cybersecurity, helps with policy expansion and its execution, and cooperates with entities throughout Europe.


The second important development was the adoption of the Directive on the security of network and information systems (the 'NIS Directive'). The NIS Directive is the first EU-wide regulation on cybersecurity, in force in August 2016. It offers legal procedures to enhance the general level of cybersecurity in the EU. EU members have 21 months to include this regulation into their national laws. The Commission provided an "NIS toolkit" with practical information to the Member States, by sharing clarifications and explanations of the Directive. The Directive is also describing all prerogatives for National competent authorities, single contact points and Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs), entities under obligations concerning security requirements and incident notifications, and exemptions.  

In 2016, a new Commissioner’s portfolio was shaped called the Security Union and Sir Julian King was appointed to this function. Cyber Security is a main aspect of the Security Union. The objective is to align all the Member States around their cybersecurity proficiencies and strengthen trust and self-assurance.

Additional constituencies are playing key roles in Europe cyber security strategy: The Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) or Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) to answer to security incidents and cyber threats, the law enforcement agency, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, the Intelligence Centre (INTCEN); located in the European External Action Service (EEAS), European External Action Service, and European Defence Agency (EDA).

The European Commission is planning to improve the collaboration between the Member States through a cooperative blueprint. The goal of this cooperative is to encourage information sharing between national cybersecurity agencies and the creation of a Cybersecurity Coordination Platform.

This also led to the revaluation of ENISA’s mandate to be adapted to the current situation, and cyber landscape evolution. In September 2017, a draft EU Cybersecurity Act for a permanent and stronger mandate for ENISA as well as a new EU cybersecurity strategy has been issued and a week after, the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Ms Mariya Gabriel visited ENISA to discuss the future of the Agency. ENISA was granted a permanent mandate clarifying the role of ENISA as the EU agency for cybersecurity.


 On the picture: Magda Chelly with Head of Cabinet Dr. Tomasz Husak, Singapore 2017


President Jean-Claude Juncker is endorsing the European defence strategy and insists on the responsibility for Europe to protect its interests and values. Currently, Europe is facing major security challenges and the solution to those challenges is a collaborative approach. The European Union is complementing the national efforts of Members. The Security and Defence Strategy represents a support for all members to secure the Union and its citizens. EU-NATO declaration

The Implementation of the EU-NATO Joint declaration by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, encourages new ways of collaborative work to face the recent growing security challenges. It does point out the requirement for an expansion on cybersecurity and defence including operations, education and training.


The UE initiatives require a strong support from the members and EU institutions, to achieve the European Defence Action Plan.



Be sure to follow me on PEERLYST LinkedIn, where I share breaking news and information.


Who is Magda CHELLY :

Magda Lilia Chelly, is the Managing Director of Responsible Cyber Pte. by day, and a cyber feminist hacker by night.

Magda calls herself a cyberfeminist and a cyber evangelist. She is involved in public speaking and international conferences as a keynote speaker where she addresses industries' challenges with cybersecurity as well as diversity in the sector and the presence of women.

Magda spends most of her time raising security awareness around the World. In addition of managing her business, she acts as chief information security officer for various companies.

She is currently based in Singapore, with a global reach through her company in 19 locations worldwide. She speaks five languages fluently and has a PhD in Telecommunication Engineering with a subsequent specialization in cyber security with a CISSP certification.

She also was recently nominated as global leader of the year at the Women in IT Awards 2017, and TOP 50 cyber security influencer worldwide.

Her educational passion led to the foundation of a cyber security diploma in Singapore, and a global partnership with K2 Partnering Solutions, for cyber educational programs, and organizational design.

On the other note, these are some references on Magda’s impact in Singapore, and internationally.

1 She is awarded TOP 50 International cyber security influencer, internationally as per below link: https://www.ifsecglobal.com/top-50-influencers-security-fire-2017-cybersecurity/

2. She is a trainer with Singapore Business Federation. See link: http://www.sbi.org.sg/event/steps-to-build-a-cyber-security-strategy-2/?instance_id=778

3. She is an official contributor on one of the major worldwide known cyber security platforms Cybrary.it. See link: https://www.cybrary.it/2017/04/cyber-feminist-hacker-course-contributor-magda-chelly

4. Her Woman In Cyber platform is live: http://woman-in-cyber.com

5. She has a YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/ResponsibleCyber





Magda Lilia Chelly, is the Managing Director of Responsible Cyber Pte. by day, and a cyber feminist hacker by night.

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