Euro­pean na­tions move for­ward on drone, cy­ber­se­cu­rity is­sues

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By FU JING in Brus­sels ZHAO SHENGNAN in Bei­jing

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Euro­pean Union mem­bers have reached a con­sen­sus to cope with cy­ber and mar­itime se­cu­rity, as well as boost air de­fense and outer space co­op­er­a­tion — both moves that Chi­nese and Euro­pean ex­perts have iden­ti­fied as solid sig­nals to push the Euro­pean Union’s in­te­gra­tion.

The ex­perts also said that the 22-point agree­ment reached among the bloc’s 28 coun­tries on Thurs­day at a sum­mit in Brus­sels has left open the pos­si­bil­ity for China and the EU to take the lead in cop­ing with new chal­lenges to se­cu­rity such as cy­ber­at­tacks.

Partly due to mount­ing in­ter­na­tional ire aris­ing from the US’ cy­ber­spy­ing on its Euro­pean al­lies, EU mem­bers have agreed that they will come up with an EU cy­berde­fense pol­icy in 2014. They also agreed to map out an EU mar­itime se­cu­rity strat­egy by June.

Her­man Van Rom­puy, pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Coun­cil, said the main pur­pose of the dis­cus­sions on com­mon de­fense pol­icy was to iden­tify ways to co­op­er­ate bet­ter around de­fense as­sets.

“The dis­cus­sions are on de­vel­op­ing, ac­quir­ing, us­ing and main­tain­ing such as­sets,” Van Rom­puy said. “Of course, co­op­er­a­tive ap­proaches come in dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes. But over­all, work­ing to­gether has its clear ad­van­tages.”

The fi­nan­cial and debt crises al­ready spurred Brus­sels to strengthen its gov­er­nance of fis­cal, mone­tary and eco­nomic is­sues. And af­ter the US, Rus­sia and other coun­tries in­creased their in­vest­ment in se­cu­rity and de­fense, the bloc de­cided to come up with poli­cies to pro­duce cut­ting-edge de­fense tech­nolo­gies

Shen Dingli, a re­searcher at Shang­hai’s Fu­dan Univer­sity, and Ma Gang, a mil­i­tary ex­pert at the Na­tional De­fense Univer­sity of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army, both agreed that the EU’s new strate­gic ar­range­ments are nor­mal re­sponses to se­cu­rity con­cerns and would not trig­ger any new arms races.

“I don’t think the EU will spend siz­able amounts on de­fense; in­stead, it will spend more to cor­rect the so­cial prob­lems it faces,” Shen said.

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