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Europe must address lack of cybersecurity experts

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Europe should focus on nurturing Cybersecurity skills as there is a shortage of experts to block malicious threats, Innovation and Digital Policy Minister Kyriacos Kokkinos told officials in Brussels.

During the discussion on digital skills, Kokkinos referred to the need to create a strong ecosystem by focusing on policies for upgrading skills, like funding programmes focusing on digital skills, modernising education, and deepening cooperation with industry.

He stressed that cybersecurity should be a priority as there is currently a shortage of 200,000 specialists in Europe.

Kokkinos briefed his counterparts about the adoption of the National Action Plan for Digital Skills, which Cyprus adopted in 2021.

During a working lunch, 27 ministers exchanged views on the EU’s open strategic autonomy and digital supply chains.

Kokkinos argued that strategic autonomy should be a key objective of the EU and highlighted the need to reduce strategic dependencies and increase resilience while maintaining openness and global cooperation with partners.

Cyprus supports the European initiative on the Global Gateway Strategy, which aims at enhancing the security of global infrastructure and supply chains in third countries.

The Council also adopted negotiating positions (general approaches) on two pieces of legislation: the Regulation on the establishment of harmonised rules for Artificial Intelligence and the European Digital Identity (eID), which creates requirements for common technical standards for the issuance of digital identity cards by member states.

Nicosia backed the two proposals and pointed to the National AI Strategy and the implementation of a National eID and Digital Wallet Plan in the country.