Joint Research Centre: A new method to help policymakers defend democracies against hybrid threats

Today, the Commission’s Joint Research Centre is publishing a report on Hybrid threats: a comprehensive resilience ecosystem. It provides policymakers with a model and recommendations on how to counter the full complexity of hybrid threats in an efficient and coordinated way. The ‘Comprehensive Resilience Ecosystem’ (CORE) model serves as a strategic dashboard for policymakers to decide which resources, tools and measures to mobilise in the face of hostile activities at EU, Member State or operational level.

This new model, prepared in partnership with the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE), takes into account interactions between different layers of society (governance, civic, services, among others), as well as different levels (international, national, and local). It helps to show how hybrid threat activities challenge democracies by introducing different types of impacts to the various elements of the model.

The CORE model may therefore be considered a blueprint for adaptive thinking, helping EU Member States understand how they – individually or collectively – can foster resilience and enhance their margin of manoeuvre when facing hybrid threats.

The CORE model will assist EU policymakers feed into the EU Hybrid toolbox created as called for in the Strategic Compass for Security and Defence. As outlined in the key EU strategies such as the Communication on the EU Security Union Strategy, countries are experiencing an increased level of complexity of hybrid threats. State and non-state actors are using hybrid strategies, including cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, direct interference in elections and political processes, economic coercion and the instrumentalisation of irregular migration flows. The Communication on the Commission’s contribution to European defence also urgently called for a major boost to European resilience and defence against these threats. More information is available in a news item.

(For more information: Johannes Bahrke — Tel.: +32 2 295 86 15; Flore Boutier – Tel.: +32 2 296 60 43)