Universiteit Leiden

nl en

ISGA gains major European cyber project: EU Cyber Direct

Dennis Broeders, professor of global security and technology at ISGA (Institute of Security and Global Affairs), together with two partners, has been granted a major European project: EU Cyber Direct. Together with EU ISS and Carnegie Europe, ISGA forms a new consortium for 3 years with a total budget of 3,5 million euro, of which ISGA gets almost one million. Broeders: 'Great to be able to start. All the signatures have been put in place.’

Dennis Broeders

The EU initiative supports cyber diplomacy and focuses on policy support, research, outreach and capacity building in the field of cyber diplomacy. The project started in 2018 and  now continues with the three new partners, building on the results of previous 3 year period. For the ISGA part of the project, Broeders has lead responsibility, François Delerue has just started as a senior researcher, and Corianne Oosterbaan is supporting all the efforts as a program assistant.

Building Cyber-resistant societies

Broeders: 'The point of the project is how we, as the European Union, can safeguard our values and interests in the international cyber domain. That means a lot of outreach and debate, expressing what our positions and standards are when it comes to International law  and norms for responsible state behavior in cyberspace, for example.' Building cyber-resilience is what the goal is, Broeders explains. 'You have countries that look at the governance of cyberspace roughly the  same way we do, like the rest of Europe, but also America, Australia or Singapore. These so-called ‘likeminded’ countries behave more or less the same when it comes to norms and values on the Internet. Then you have the countries like China and Russia that take a very different view .And you have a large middle group. Some of those countries don't necessarily have a crystallized vision of what they want with the Internet, what values are important, but have a stake in the development of the internet like all other countries. The intention of this grant is that we will also try to build a bridge with some of those emerging countries in, for example, Africa, Asia and South America. Engage in debate. How do you see the future, which way are you going, where do your interests and those of the EU align and where do we differ? We're going to hold cyber consultations and bring people together.'

Using expertise

Utilize the in-house expertise we have. That is the professor's plan. We step into this project as a  university and Broeders wants to make the most of it. ‘We bring an academic mindset; our other partners in this project are think tanks. We bring our own brand of thinking and combine that with theirs. You can bring a wealth of expertise to the project drawing from the university at large. If you want to do something about the Middle East and the Internet then you go and talk to James Shires, you ask him in. If it's about China then you go and talk to Rogier Creemers. If you need expertise on internet governance you talk to Tatiana Tropina'

Involving your network within the university in the program and also doing what you are good at as a university, that is what Broeders wants to get done. ‘We are going to organize two large academic conferences, in which we will seek the connection with policy makers and bring those worlds together. We are also going to organize a series of workshops in what we will call the Peace Palace Series.  Issues that will be addressed include: how do, and should, states interpret international law on the Internet? The EU is developing the concept of  technical and digital sovereignty:, what is that, what does it mean, and what does it require?' 

Strengthening ties

Broeders is pleased that at ISGA this collaboration will now also strengthen ties within Europe. ‘I think this is incredibly useful for our Institute. At ISGA, we naturally have a strong national and international side, but especially when it comes to cyber, it's good to be represented in Europe in this way.'

You can read more about the project on the project page.

The EU Cyber Direct website can be found here: https://eucyberdirect.eu/

This website uses cookies.  More information.