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The EU welcomes the establishment of the Centre of Excellence for countering hybrid threats today by the Government of Finland. This will contribute to the strengthened cooperation between the EU and NATO, in line with the Joint Communication on countering hybrid threats that was adopted in April 2016.
High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission Federica Mogherini said on the occasion: “As European Union, we will grant our full support to Finland in driving the new Centre of Excellence for countering hybrid threats forward to a full operation capacity and in its future work in delivering expert strategic analysis on countering hybrid threats, which will contribute to security in Europe. The establishment of the Centre in Helsinki will further strengthen EU-NATO cooperation, particularly on one of the greatest challenges in today's world. ”
While the European Union will not be a signatory to the memorandum of understanding between the various participating Members States and Allies, it has been invited to support the steering board with expertise. As the Centre develops, we look forward to being able develop a close working relationship drawing in particular on the experience gained through the European Union Hybrid Fusion Centre that operates at technical level in Brussels.
The Centre of Excellence for countering hybrid threats is a Finnish national initiative, which is being established in direct response to one of the 22 actionable proposals made in the Joint Communication "Joint Framework on countering hybrid threats - a European Union Response" adopted in April 2016. The Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union welcomed this proposal and encouraged Member States to set up a Centre that could address the strategic implications of Countering Hybrid Threats.
The Centre intends to follow a comprehensive, multinational, multidisciplinary and academic based approach through its work. It is expected to:
a) encourage strategic-level dialogue and consultations between and among Participants, the EU and NATO;
b) conduct research and analysis into hybrid threats and methods to counter such threats;
c) develop doctrine, conduct training and arrange exercises aimed at enhancing Participants’ individual capabilities, as well as interoperability between and among Participants, the EU, and NATO for countering hybrid threats;
d) engage with and invite dialogue with government and non-government experts from a wide range of professional sectors and disciplines; and
e) involve or cooperate with, communities of interest focusing on specific issues that can make up hybrid threats, on methodologies for understanding these issues, and on ways to adjust organisations to better cope with such threats.