In the 18 months of the war, Ukraine has achieved significant progress in digital transformation and implementation of trust services. The current geopolitical context makes further development of innovative digital solutions, technologies, and infrastructures that are based on the EU’s values and principles ever more relevant.
The war has pushed Ukraine to seek membership in the European Union and thus access to the EU’s Digital Single Market, which presupposes an alignment with international regulations and standards.
This paper looks at the potential impact of Ukraine on the EU’s performance in digitalisation and cybersecurity and outlines lessons learned from Russia’s aggression. It thereby makes the following recommendations:
- The factors that account for Ukraine’s effective cyber defence have been institutional adaption, proactive defensive actions, and integration of external support. These processes need to continue.
- The defence against a military invasion now requires the ability to disperse and distribute digital operations and data assets across national borders.
- Access to reliable public digital services and electronic identification is fundamental during conflicts. It has to remain a priority for the governments.
- A careful analysis of the tactical choices made by Russia’s military will help Europe forecast the development of new tools and methods of future cyber-attacks and how to protect against them.
Building an effective cyber-defence posture is a marathon, not a sprint.
This paper is the fourth publication of the project on “The political and economic impact of Ukraine’s EU accession on the EU and Estonia” conducted by the ICDS in cooperation with the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels (CEPS) and the Ukrainian Institute for Economic Research and Policy. The multi-disciplinary research team assesses the potential political, security-related, institutional, economic, and budgetary implications of Ukraine’s EU accession. The project is led by Dr Kristi Raik, Deputy Director of the ICDS, and supported by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- The Potential Impact of Ukrainian Accession on the EU’s Budget – and the Importance of Control Valves
- The Impact of Ukrainian Membership on the EU’s Institutions and Internal Balance of Power
- Accelerator for a Geopolitical Europe: Potential Impact of Ukraine’s Membership on EU Foreign, Security, and Defence Policy