18 Apr 2023

Solidarity Act and Skills Academy: Vital first steps towards a common European cyber shield, but private sector must play a role

Today, the European Commission took action to bolster Europe’s cyber shield with the announcement of the Cyber Solidarity Act and the Cybersecurity Skills Academy initiatives. 

DIGITALEUROPE’s Director General Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl said: 

  • ‘’ Last year, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we called for common European action to strengthen our cyber shield. We need a joint cyber defence to replace the current ineffective bits-and-pieces approach. With this announcement, Europe is delivering. The network of Security Operation Centres (SOCs), the European cyber mechanism with its cyber reserve are vital first steps towards multi-country collaboration on cyber defence. And the Cyber Skills Academy – with the right input from companies on the cyber front– can help cut the current 250,000 shortage in cyber professionals which is projected to reach over 1 million by 2030. Industry is on the front line of Europe’s cyber defences, and there needs to be a meaningful role in the governance, too.  ‘’  

Our latest publication calls for a Joint Public-Private Expert Unit to advise on skills, cooperation and preparedness prior to an attack. It can also help define the key requirements for the cyber reserve of trusted providers and their respective certifications as the question of how and what companies will be selected remains unanswered. The Expert Unit would be comprised of CISOs and leading companies operating in Europe. 

The Cybersecurity Skills Academy is also a step forward, but its success will rely on building solid partnerships with industry. We believe that public-private collaboration is key to meeting the demand and increasing the number of women in the cyber workforce. We stand ready to work with the Commission and Member States to deliver on the Academy’s training goals. 

Our pioneering initiative to create a network of cybersecurity campuses across Europe can provide a shared vision of top cybersecurity roles in Europe, as well as advance and help implement the ENISA’s cyber skills assessment system. 

The success of the EU’s efforts to bolster Europe’s cyber shield will depend on a strong collaboration with the industry. We are ready to work together to ensure the success of these initiatives and protect Europe’s digital future. 

For more information, please contact
Samia Fitouri
Senior Communications Manager
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