An image of panellists sitting on stage and talking.

European cybersecurity excellence comes together at ECSO’s High Level Discussion and GA

European cybersecurity excellence comes together at ECSO’s High Level Discussion and GA

European digital sovereignty, competitiveness and investments, the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre and the upskilling of cybersecurity competences. These were the main topics discussed at ECSO’s High Level Discussion held on the 29th June in Brussels, where cybersecurity market leaders met with top European officials for a lively exchange of thoughts and ideas on the present and future of the European cybersecurity market.

With a blend of high-level representatives from the public and private sector, ECSO’s High Level Discussion provided ECSO Members, who previously gathered for the Organisation’s annual General Assembly, with a valuable opportunity to discuss the uttermost priorities for the European cybersecurity ecosystem. Starting with the need for skills, the conversation moved to the European industrial policy passing by the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre, which together with the Network of National Coordination Centres, aims to strengthen European cybersecurity capacities, research excellence and industry competitiveness.

The presence of private sector representatives paved the way for an exchange of ideas and needs concerning European digital sovereignty, global competitiveness and investments in European businesses and solutions. One of the key takeaways was the need for Europe to start significantly investing in infrastructure and continue pushing forward the project of a sovereign and trustworthy EU cloud. ECSO Members present underlined the need for larger investments to finance European champions and create clusters where SMEs, which are the backbone of Europe’s economy, come together and share their expertise and market knowledge to grow their market share.

“Bringing together our Members and giving them the chance to voice their opinions and needs to European institutions representatives makes us proud and represents the fuel that keeps ECSO walking the path which we have long chosen to follow”, commented ECSO Secretary General Luigi Rebuffi, after the event. “Despite the current challenges that the cybersecurity industry is facing, it was great to see so many minds come together and identify a possible way forward to achieve strategic autonomy”, he concluded.

Speaking of potential markets, panellists also shared their thoughts on the impact of EU legislation on their business models, underlining how European companies could use EU legislation (such as the NIS2 and the CER directives) to create unique business opportunities and value for customers by selling products compliant with such laws, as it happened in the case on GDPR. One of the points that was mostly stressed was that the collaboration between the private and public sector is essential, especially when it comes to the private sector proposing ideas to the policy makers, who can then work on strategies and allocate funds where needed and support the European industry. 

ECSO’s High Level Discussion finally touched upon one of the hottest topics in today’s European cybersecurity landscape: the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre (ECCC). The ECCC’s role will be to try to finance ideas coming from the private sector, with industrial policy being at the core of such initiative. The ECCC will then serve as “glue” to bring together the scattered pieces of European local, regional and national initiatives (may they be educational or financial, etc.) to create a unique and unified cluster of opportunities for growth, including the creation of a European community of CISOs, which was deemed essential in such process of unification. 

The points outlined in the ECCC call and the discussions carried out during the High Level Discussion were a clear sign of how ECSO can play a strategic role as catalyst of the European cybersecurity community that includes investors, educators, policy makers, industry and public authorities, an action which is at the core of ECSO’s mission and operations. 

Earlier that day, ECSO also proved to still be an essential centre for cooperation in Europe, as well as a financially healthy organisation (with the approval of its 2021 financial exercise and the 2023 budget), which will continue to be led by Luigi Rebuffi, who was re-elected Secretary General for the upcoming three years. 

As of today, ECSO is proud to also count on the following newly elected Members in the Board of Directors:


  • THALES SIX GTS FRANCE SAS, represented by Alexis Caurette
  • AIRBUS CYBERSECURITY, represented by Charlotte Graire
  • RHEA SYSTEM S.A., represented by Michel Bosco
  • ATOS, represented by Chris Moret 


  • ACN, represented by Roger Simon
  • AEI CIBERSECURIDAD, represented by José Lucío Gonzalez Jimenez
  • UPEE -Union for Private Economic Enterprise, represented by Svetlin Iliev 


  • CYBER SERVICES, represented by Anett Madi-Nator
  • YES WE HACK, represented by Guillaume Vassault-Houlière 


  • CNR, represented by Fabio Martinelli
  • GOETHE UNIVERSITÄT – Kai Rannenberg


  • EDF, represented by Olivier Ligneul
  • INTESA SANPAOLO, represented by Giorgio Cusma Lorenzo


  • Basque Cybersecurity Center, represented by Javier Dieguez


  • CHANCELLERY OF THE PRIME MINISTER OF POLAND, represented by Michal Pukaluk
  • BSI – FEDERAL OFFICE FOR INFORMATION SECURITY, represented by Arne Schönbohm

ECSO will be working on many other activities to involve its Members and federate the European cybersecurity community.

To find out more and to stay updated with such activities, subscribe to ECSO’s newsletter, or join the movement! Find out how to join ECSO at

Click here to view all the pictures of the event.

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