Whenever humankind learned to operate in a new dimension (the seas, air, space), it quickly started to make war in this dimension as well. Similarly in cyberspace, new opportunities imply new vulnerabilities. The threat awareness is there. In Belgium, it is included in the National Security Strategy and the Cyber Security Strategy. At EU level, it is highlighted in the Strategic Compass and the forthcoming Cyber Resilience Act. NATO as well emphasised cyber in its Strategic Concept.
On the occasion of Cyber Security Month 2022 and as part of their joint policy seminars, the Representation of the Commission in Belgium and the Egmont Institute co-organise an expert seminar with around 50 Belgian and senior EU officials. The aim is to create a better understanding of the position and role of Belgium in the European policy framework and to assess the effectiveness of EU and Belgian policy measures. After a discussion of EU policies, the robustness of current responses will be tested by way of two case studies, in the political/information and in the financial/economic sphere. The purpose of these case studies is to identify bottlenecks in Belgium, discuss how to tackle them and align them more with EU policies and draw lessons for the future. A short paper on those lessons will result from the seminar.
This seminar complements the Egmont brainstorming series on hybrid threats, which was launched in the spring of 2022 and will continue into the autumn; as well as the Think-Tank Platform National Security, a joint initiative of Egmont and Athena to foster debate on the Belgian National Security Strategy.
14.00-14.15 Welcome and Introduction
- Dr. Sven Biscop, Egmont & Ghent University
- Stefaan De Rynck, Head of the European Commission Representation in Belgium
14.15-14.45 Keynote address by Despina Spanou, Head of Cabinet of Vice President Margaritis Schinas, European Commission
14.45-15.45 Panel 1: The Financial and Economic Sphere
Chair: Ir. Yvan De Mesmaeker, Secretary General of the European Corporate Security Association (ECSA)
- Stefaan Bolle, DEME
- Pieter Byttebier Centre for Cyber Security, Belgium
- Miguel González-Sancho, Head of Unit CNECT.H.1 – Cybersecurity Technology and Capacity Building, European Commission
15.45-16.15 Coffee Break
16.15-17.15 Panel 2: The Political and Information Sphere
Chair: Bernard Siman OBE, Senior Associate Fellow, Egmont
- Nathalie Van Raemdonck, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
- Michael Aendenhof, Permanent Representation of Belgium to the EU
17.15-17.30 Conclusion and Way Forward
Bernard Siman OBE
Working language English – Participation by invitation only
The Chatham House Rule Applies
 Athena is the Alumni Association of Graduates of the High Studies for Security and Defence of the Royal Higher Institute for Defence.
(Photo credit: Cyberhades, Flickr)