STRASBOURG, France – The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, proposed on Wednesday that a European cybersecurity agency be established, as he gave the annual State of the European Union address.
Juncker said cyberattacks were the greatest danger to democracy and stability, but that the EU was not well-equipped to defend itself from online assaults.
“Cyberattacks can be more dangerous to the stability of democracies and economies than guns and tanks,” he said in his speech to the European Parliament, adding that “cyberattacks know no borders and no-one is immune.”
He said that in the last year, more than 4,000 ransomware attacks per day had been detected and around 80 percent of companies in the EU had dealt with at least one cybersecurity incident.
The EU’s presidency, currently held by Estonia, proposed making digital affairs and cybersecurity one of its priorities and organized a leaders’ summit to discuss the matter, scheduled to take place in Tallin on Sept. 29.
Last July, the EC announced that it was set to present a new European cybersecurity strategy in the coming months.
In June, when a second global cyberattack hit just a month after the WannaCry virus forced important institutions to temporarily shut down, the Commission insisted that it was necessary to raise awareness on the danger of these kinds of threats and reinforce cooperation with EU allies, such as Ukraine.