Paul Timmers

EU Kommission. Director Cybersecurity a.D.


International cooperation is conceivable in various constellations, said Paul Timmers in his keynote on Friday. Changes in the international system can arise as a result of  three factors in particular: international tensions, digital transformation and cyber threats.

Cyberspace knows no national borders; these no longer play a role , he said. "Cyberspace does not have this notion of nationhood," Timmers said. Digitization has put national states and their sovereignty under pressure. This raises the important question of how to cooperate at the international level in the future and carry out risk management in the best possible way. This is already happening at several levels.He cited the Charter of Trust, among others, as an example of international cooperation in the private sector. He spoke about the fight against fake news as an example of international cooperation between the private and public sectors, while the EU Cyber Act was a result of international cooperation between governments.

Timmers said both good news and bad news can be gleaned when looking at international cooperation as a defense against cyber threats.  The bad news, he said, is that there is an urgent need to decide and act on one approach - the good news is that "there is more than one approach. In fact, there are several approaches and possibilities when addressing this issue.." An important prerequisite for internationally coordinated action is a structural debate and a general openness as well as the consideration of the historical possibilities of  the countries involved.