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EU's Mogherini Says West Serious About Countering Hybrid Threats


EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini (file photo)

BRUSSELS -- European Union foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini says that the EU "could not take the issue of hybrid threat[s] more seriously."

Mogherini was speaking ahead of the October 2 inauguration of the new European Center of Excellence For Countering Hybrid Threats in Helsinki.

The center, which is a Finnish initiative, brings together 10 EU member states as well as Norway and the United States to focus on research, training, education, and exercises.

Both NATO and the EU will be part of the steering board of the center, which Mogherini described as "an essential contribution to our capacity to respond to crisis."

The EU has in recent months ramped up its activities to counter hybrid threats -- a reference to a mix of conventional and nonconventional means used by an adversary to achieve its objectives.

Last month, EU defense ministers held a cyberexercise aimed at testing the bloc's ability to respond to a potential attack by hackers on its military structures.

Last week, various EU institutions launched their first-ever exercise to test the EU's crisis response in countering cyberattacks and hybrid-warfare threats.

The European Commission recently also proposed to establish a new, beefed-up European cybersecurity agency.

Mogherini noted that the EU's Stratcom East team, which deals with Russian disinformation, had uncovered over 3,000 disinformation cases since its foundation two years ago.

She said the EU would continue to "talk about what we are doing, to explain with a maximum of transparency our policies, spread the real stories about the positive impact that our European action has the lives of so many people."

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