Robust EU structure to address hybrid threats

Exercise Nighthawk 21 brought together Special Operations Forces from 13 NATO Allies and partners to test their ability to work together through a series of complex counter-terrorism and hybrid warfare scenarios.

The Council has approved the guiding framework for the practical establishment of the EU Hybrid Rapid Response Teams. This approval paves the way for deploying these teams upon request to prepare against and counter hybrid threats and campaigns. 

The Hybrid Rapid Response Teams are crucial to support EU member states and partner countries in countering hybrid threats as part of the EU Hybrid Toolbox. As a key deliverable of the Strategic Compass, they will provide tailored and targeted short-term assistance to member states, Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations, and partner countries in countering hybrid threats and campaigns. 

In a deteriorating security environment with increasing disinformation, cyber-attacks, attacks on critical infrastructure, instrumentalised migration, and election interference by malign actors, the Hybrid Rapid Response Teams will be an essential new capability of the EU to counter new and emerging threats.

The Strategic Compass for Security and Defence, approved by the Council in 2022, envisions an EU Hybrid Toolbox that consolidates existing and potential new instruments to detect and respond to a wide spectrum of hybrid threats. A key component of this toolbox is the creation of EU Hybrid Rapid Response Teams. These teams are designed to be adaptable, drawing on the diverse expertise of national and EU civilian and military sectors, and are ready to respond to various hybrid threats.

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