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    EU Defense Ministers Endorse Creation of Joint Intelligence School

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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The Council of the European Union adopted on Monday an updated version of the EU Cyber defense Policy Framework, having set several priority areas, such as cyber defense capabilities development, military drills, and enhancement of civil and military cooperation, the council said in a press release.

    "A primary role of this policy framework is the development of cyberdefense capabilities, as well as the protection of the EU CSDP [Common Security and Defence Policy] communication and information networks. Other priority areas include: training and exercises, research and technology, civil-military cooperation and international cooperation," the document read.

    The document also stresses the importance of adequately addressing cyberthreats during exercises in order to "improve the EU's ability to react to cyber and hybrid crises by improving decision-making procedures and availability of information."

    "Civil-military cooperation in cyberfield is key to ensure a coherent response to cyberthreats," the document stipulates.

    At their meeting held in Brussels on October 18, the EU leaders focused on combating cyberwarfare, pledging to strengthen EU "deterrence" and 'resilience" against various kinds of threats. The participants of the summit also voiced the need to adopt "all cybersecurity proposals" before May 2019, when the elections to the European Parliament will be held.

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    On October 18, the European Council stressed the necessity to build strong cybersecurity within the bloc, emphasizing the importance of raising the capability to respond to cyberattacks. The updated version of the document aims at developing EU cyberdefense policy, taking into account the changing security challenges. The document specifies the priority spheres of the cyberdefense, while it also "clarifies the roles of the different European actors."

    Meanwhile, the defense ministers of the EU member states adopted on Monday at a meeting in Brussels a plan providing for the creation of a Joint EU Intelligence School (JEIS), a document published on the official website of the European Council and the Council of European Union said.

    "The JEIS, in collaboration with member states, NATO CoEs, Intelligence and Security Services, will provide education and training in intelligence disciplines and other specific fields to EU member states intelligence personnel," the updated list of EU Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) projects said, noting that the initiative was adopted on November 19.

    It is planned that 25 of the EU 28 member states will be a part of the future project — except for Denmark, Malta and the United Kingdom, a source familiar with the issue told Sputnik.

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    The need to create supranational joint intelligence agencies and train joint intelligence staff has been set out in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, however, the EU member states used to have disagreements regarding the establishment of a joint European intelligence service.

    In addition, the EU defense ministers also adopted on Monday a plan, under which the number of joint EU defense and security projects will double to 34, with the new projects being related to unmanned aerial vehicles suppression, tactical missile systems, electronic warfare systems, and chemical threat tracking systems.

    The previous 17 EU Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) projects were adopted in early March. According to the updated list of PESCO projects, EU states are planning to develop a new generation medium range Beyond Line Of Sight missile systems facility, set to be integrated on a variety of platforms. France, Belgium and Cyprus will engage in this program.

    A total of 10 EU countries will participate in the development of the Integrated Unmanned Ground System, set to transport various payloads and sensors.

    Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain, France, and Italy will engage in the creation of the European Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, while Germany and Cyprus will be tasked to establish a Joint EU Intelligence School, where EU intelligence personnel will receive education and training.

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    intelligence, cybersecurity, defense, EU Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), Joint EU Intelligence School (JEIS), EU, Brussels
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