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Cybersecurity authority releases study on EU's strategic resilience and Romania's contribution thereto

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The National Cybersecurity Directorate (DNSC) and the Romanian Association for Information Security Assurance launched on Tuesday the study "The Strategic Resilience of the European Union, Technology and Digital Fields Included: Future Scenarios and Romania's Contribution", conducted as part of the series of Strategy and Policy Studies (SPOS) 2021, with the support of the European Institute in Romania and of the European Commission's Representation to Romania.

According to the study's findings, strategic resilience mainly involves the existence of a balanced, articulated and flexible economic and social system where daily processes and activities take place without major disruptions, with a view to achieving national development goals and ensuring the individual contribution to the cooperation and collaboration systems the state is a part of.

In addition to the internal benefits related to a high standard of living, to avoiding the major effects of crises and ensuring the prosperity of the citizens, a strong state that respects the unanimously recognized principles and rules, human rights, the rule and supremacy of law, a strengthened market economy and a high level of security are always seen as a serious, desirable and respected ally.

The prerequisite for reaching such a level is first of all a very good organization and efficiency in action at national level, a solid educational system that provides the necessary skilled and educated workforce, as well as the rational and adequate allocation of resources for development, based on long-term development strategies which should capitalize on Romania's existing potential, the cited study states.

"At this moment, in the current geopolitical context, with a war on our border, we see resilience as an essential, fundamental component from the economic point of view of the decision makers, of the society. Everyone is impacted and feels the consequences of what is happening in the world," said DNSC director Dan Campean at the launch conference of the study.

He pointed out that resilience is on everyone's agenda during this period, whether they are European authorities or companies.

"The problem with this concept is that it is simple and complex at the same time. (...). I hope that our study will lead to broader discussions on this subject," Campean added.

In his turn, DNSC cybersecurity manager Sabin Popescu argued that, starting from the shortcomings at the beginning of the pandemic, such as the lack of protective masks and other products in stores, the solution was a better integration of efforts at European level.

"We should have long-term development strategies in place, define what we can do in certain areas, see what scientific, human, material resources we have. We could act at regional level, develop joint projects with neighboring countries, attract foreign investments, and this way the attracted resources could be bigger," said Popescu.

He added that evolution is impossible without education and that issues must still be solved in this respect. "Autonomy does not mean isolation, but partnerships based on verified principles and values, which have proven their strength in difficult times. Education is paramount, without education we cannot evolve, and here we still have issues to solve," said Sabin Popescu.

Director general of the AGERPRES National News Agency Claudia Nicolae referred to the fake news phenomenon which has lately picked up momentum.

"At EU level, news agencies have started working together under joint European projects, precisely in order to provide readers with validated information platforms," Nicolae said.

According to her, the press has been through a very difficult period during the pandemic, which came along with a lack of information to help provide a complete and informed picture.

"We were suddenly in the position of making news off the TV, a situation where you can't ask questions, speeches do not keep you one hundred percent clear, but we had to adapt to this way of broadcasting news," said the AGERPRES manager.

Claudia Nicolae pointed out that lately, media outlets have been subjected to increasingly virulent cyberattacks and that even AGERPRES is a fairly frequent target.

"We managed to avert these attacks with the help of the human factor, which remains essential in journalism. On June 16, the new code of practice on misinformation was published, in a version adjusted to the current post-pandemic and war context. In 2018, the application of the code was voluntary, bur now it also includes sanctions and there is a 6-month period for adaptation. Regardless of the situation, we provide accurate and objective news," Claudia Nicolae added.

Research and innovation, as well as investments in start-ups will be important in supporting European technological supremacy. A fragmented global innovation ecosystem would slow down the innovation process, which would have negative consequences on the health system, where it could delay the fight against new diseases, the study concludes.

Public-private partnerships will be important in supporting the further development of technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, robotics and quantum computers.

The European Union could explore co-design and cooperation avenues with private investors in order to develop public-private financing mechanisms to further finance innovative start-ups. Also, the European bloc must strengthen inter-regional relations and build an economic agenda on such common priorities in order to be able to implement its strategy globally.

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