A Europe that protects: good progress on tackling hybrid threats

17 Jun 2019 11:55 AM

The European Union and Member States have made good progress in tackling hybrid threats through a number of concerted actions in a wide range of sectors to significantly boost capacities, shows the latest report adopted recently by the Commission and the European External Action Service.

The 22 measures identified under the 2016 Joint Framework on Countering Hybrid Threats and the 2018 Joint Communication on increasing resilience and bolstering capabilities to address hybrid threats range from improving exchange of information and strengthening protection of critical infrastructure and cybersecurity, to building resilience in our societies against radicalisation and extremism. Member States have received support through the framework, and the EU's response to hybrid threats has been successfully tested, including in a parallel and coordinated way with NATO in a number of exercises.

Key findings

The report outlines detailed progress on a large number of areas, which include:


Amongst the key achievements, a large number of legislative proposals have been adopted to underpin efforts at national and EU level – the Regulation on the screening of foreign direct investments into the EU is a recent example. Chemical and cyber sanctions regimes have been added to the array of response measures. Countering disinformation, election protection, cybersecurity, defence industry cooperation add on to the list of areas concerned but, by far, do not exhaust it.

Cooperation within and between EU entities – institutions, services and agencies – has been key to steady progress on the hybrid files. Cooperation with partner countries in this field has been stepped up: Hybrid risk surveys have been launched in 7 partner countries in the EU's neighbourhood.

The same goes for cooperation with strategic international partners like the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, including in the framework of the Hybrid Centre of Excellence in Helsinki, and with third countries in the frame of multilateral formats, notably the G7.

Close coordination between EU entities and the Member States based on a whole-of-society approach – government, civil society, private sector, including, inter alia, media and online platforms – is at the core of the EU's counter-hybrid policies.


Security has been a political priority since the beginning of the Juncker Commission's mandate – from President Juncker's Political Guidelines of July 2014 to the latest State of the Union address on 13 September 2017.

Hybrid activities by State and non-state groups continue to pose a serious and acute threat to the EU and its Member States. Hybrid campaigns are multidimensional, combining coercive and subversive measures, using both conventional and unconventional means and tactics. They are designed to be difficult to detect or attribute to any individual or group.

For More Information


Factsheet on countering hybrid threats

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