Delegation of the European Union to Australia

EU expert talks about terrorism, cyber-attacks and the Great Barrier Reef during visit

04/10/2017 - 09:04
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The European Union's Acting Director for Security Policy and Conflict Prevention, Francois Rivasseau, has been discussing the fight against terrorism and the dangers of cyber attacks during his trip to Australia.

Mr Rivasseau's visit to Australia also included discussions about the cutting-edge Copernicus satellite system that is helping Australian experts  track the growth of the Great Barrier Reef as well as better monitoring drought indicators.

Mr Rivasseau says countering terror will be a significant topic of discussion during his meetings in Australia.

Another major issue on his agenda during his Australian trip was highlighting the dangers of cyber attacks on global satellite networks.

"More and more Australians are dependent on devices such as mobile phones that depend on satellite navigation services such as Europe's Galileo system," he said.

"Therefore we need to be more and more aware of the dangers of cyber attacks that may brutally interrupt, spoof or jam global satellite systems. We need to work with all our international partners, including Australia, to counter this threat."

Mr Rivasseau said he would also be discussing the Copernicus satellite system which Australians are already accessing.

"Copernicus satellites provide new information to support management of iconic environmental sites like the Great Barrier Reef, improve agricultural productivity and reduce risks from natural hazards such as bushfires," he said.

“Our Copernicus programme is core to our strategy of applying Europe’s advanced space engineering, science and technology capability to major opportunities and challenges across the globe.

"We warmly welcome the interest by the Australian Government, through Geoscience Australia, in becoming a key partner in this programme.

“The European Union’s policy of providing full and free access to data from this programme also creates significant opportunities for European and Australian industry to work together to utilise this data."

Mr Rivasseau said his trip to Australia would not only touch on space, cyber threats and counter terrorism but also include maritime security issues, nuclear disarmament and non proliferation and Europe's changing defence relationships.

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