The institutionalization of cybersecurity management at the EU-Level: 2013-2016
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
International cybersecurity is arguably one of the most serious, complex and recent security-issues of our time. The connectivity between EU member states regarding cybersecurity due to the borderless nature of cyber, together with increasing threat-levels, has made the need for a common response widely acknowledged in the EU for several years. Even so, a common EU cybersecurity response involves problems such as reluctance of member states to share information, that cybersecurity management is linked to national security and therefore touches upon sovereignty, and different levels of cybersecurity development between member states. Despite this, the Network and Information Security Directive was adopted by the European Council in May 2016, involving EU-wide binding rules on cybersecurity. This thesis examines and explains, through a neo-functionalistic approach, how and why this development towards supranational management of cybersecurity in the EU has happened. The author finds that cybersecurity management seems to have institutionalized from a nascent phase during 2013, moving towards an ascendant phase during the end of 2013 and 2014, to end up between an ascendant and a mature phase during 2015 and 2016 – which makes the adoption of the NIS-directive logical. The neo-functionalistic explanation to the development of supranational cybersecurity management in the EU highlights the role of the Commission as a ‘policy entrepreneur’ and the publication of the EU cybersecurity strategy, accompanied by the proposal for the NISdirective in 2013. These regulatory outputs sparked further institutionalization by providing many opportunities and venues for member states to interact and build networks on cybersecurity issues, by initiatives with normative impact to foster an EU ‘cybersecurity community’, by the continuous strengthening of supranational cybersecurity actors such as ENISA, and by supranational cybersecurity cooperation platforms, such as the NIS-platform and the European Private Public Partnership on cybersecurity. Between 2013 and 2016, 21 EU Member States published national cybersecurity strategies, almost all referring clearly to their commitment to EU cybersecurity initiatives. This provides an indicator of a high level of legitimacy of supranational cybersecurity management. However, the thesis also finds that the strongest supporters of EU cybersecurity management are not the most powerful member states but rather the smaller ones. While not expressing a strong commitment to EU initiatives in cyber policy documents, the most powerful member states still agreed to the NIS-directive. This supports the neo-functionalist notion about the “stickiness” of an institutionalization-process, and the possibility that powerful states might have double paths, committing to EU regulation and institutionalization while still continuing their own way.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 51 p.
EU cybersecurity management, EU, cybersecurity, institutionalization, neofunctionalism, the NIS-Directive
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6236OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-6236DiVA: diva2:945264
Subject / course
Statsvetenskap med inriktning mot krishantering och säkerhet (Master's programme in Politics and War)
Master's programme in Politics and War