The Kingdom of Belgium has decided to join the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence as a Sponsoring Nation. A delegation from Belgium visited the Centre this week to start the accession negotiations.
“Belgium is a key contributor to European cyber security. In addition to hosting several international institutions, they are fundamental to several cyber defence cooperation efforts in NATO and the European Union,” noted Mr. Sven Sakkov, Director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. He highlighted the importance of Belgium becoming a full-fledged member of the Centre at the times crucial to European security as well as when cyber challenges are clearly on the rise. „We warmly welcome Belgium’s decision and hope for an expeditious accession process,“ added Mr. Sakkov.
“Belgian Defence is honoured being accepted as a member of the CCDCOE. Cyber Defence is a top priority of the Belgian Government,“ said Colonel Gunther De Kerpel supported by Major Jeff Vandromme from the Strategic Affairs Department of the Belgian Defence Staff. „Belgian Defence will very soon add deeds to words by sending a proficient cyber defence specialist to Tallinn”.
The Tallinn-based NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence is a NATO-accredited knowledge hub focused on interdisciplinary applied research and development as well as consultations, trainings and exercises in the field of cyber security. The Centre’s mission is to enhance capability, cooperation and information-sharing between NATO, Allies and Partners in cyber defence. The Centre is staffed and financed by sponsoring nations and contributing participants.
Membership of the Centre is open to all Allies. Currently, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States have signed on as Sponsoring Nations. Austria and Finland have joined the Centre as Contributing Participants, the status for non-NATO members of the NATO CCDCOE.