This week an agreement was signed at the NATO Allied Command Transformation (Norfolk, USA) between Austria and the current member nations of the Centre which accepts Austria into the Centre. Austria is the first non-NATO nation to join the Centre but not the last since talks of joining are also being held with Finland.
“Austria joining the Centre is definitely an important milestone for us and for the way we look at cyber defence,” said Colonel Artur Suzik, Director of the Centre. “Partnerships are extremely vital and I am very pleased that Austria now stands as an equal among the nations already participating in the work of the Centre.”
Being a non-NATO nation, Austria joined the Centre as a Contributing Participant which is a special cooperation format for nations outside the Alliance. In essence the Contributing Participant is equal to the NATO nations participating in the work of the Centre, the main difference being the absence of the voting right at the Centre’s Steering Committee which governs the organisation’s budget and programme of work.
Austria started the discussions on joining the Centre in the beginning 2013 and sent its representative to work in the Centre in autumn same year to start the contribution and collaboration as soon as possible.
Austria will not be the last addition to the Centre this year. From NATO nations Czech Republic, France, Greece, Turkey and United Kingdom are expected to join this year, discussions with Finland which will hopefully lead to an agreement within this year. Experts from Czech Republic, France, Turkey and United Kingdom are already working at the Centre.
NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence is an International Military Organisation located in Tallinn, Estonia. It’s a research and training centre with an aim to enhance the capability, cooperation and information sharing among NATO, its member nations and partners in cyber defence by virtue of education, research and development, lessons learned and consultation.