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EU charts course for more cooperation in online counterterrorism

By MAX METZNER and OKSANA TRIFONOVA, with BROOKS TIGNER , BRUSSELS – The WannaCry ransomware cryptoworm attacks in May raises two fundamental questions regarding the safety of classified information. How do policymakers ensure international cyber-safety in the technological era, and what steps should be taken to deter and prevent cyberattacks before the damage is done? During a recent talk in Brussels on the EU’s Security Union, a senior European Commission official laid out the priorities and next steps. “Three critical factors need to be emphasized when dealing with cyber security, especially as it relates to fighting terrorism transparency, traceability, and accountability,” said the official. “On counterterrorism, we are working around two fronts. The first is to…

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Impact of EU’s forthcoming defence fund riddled with unknowns

By BROOKS TIGNER , BRUSSELS – The rhetoric of EU and national leaders kow-tows incessantly to the vitality and importance of SMEs – small and medium sized enterprises – for Europe’s economic innovation and job-creating potential. Yet successful innovative SMEs in the EU that soar to become giants on the world stage are few and far between. There are a couple of Skype-type exceptions, but too many of Europe’s “garage” inventors who have a good idea, particularly in the digital field, head for the greener pastures of the USA where bureaucratic obstacles are lower, returns higher and venture capitalists more willing to take risks than their European counterparts. This points directly to the EU’s forthcoming European Defence Fund (EDF) and how it will generate high-tech results within the framework of PESCO, the permanent structured cooperation in defence that 23 EU member states (and counting) will set in motion in 2018. Such projects will necessarily have to draw in dual-use innovations from the commercial realm. A critical acid test for the defence fund will be to what extent it enables SMEs with interesting dual-use products in one PESCO country to...