Posted on May 14, 2022
The European Parliament and the EU Member States have reached a political agreement on the Directive on measures for a high common level of cybersecurity across the Union (NIS 2 Directive) proposed by the European Commission in December 2020.
The existing rules on the security of network and information systems (NIS Directive), have been the first piece of EU-wide legislation on cybersecurity and paved the way for a significant change in mind-set, institutional and regulatory approach to cybersecurity in many Member States. In spite of their notable achievements and positive impact, they had to be updated because of the increasing degree of digitalisation and interconnectedness of our society and the rising number of cyber malicious activities at global level.
To respond to this increased exposure of Europe to cyber threats, the NIS 2 Directive now covers medium and large entities from more sectors that are critical for the economy and society, including providers of public electronic communications services, digital services, waste water and waste management, manufacturing of critical products, postal and courier services and public administration, both at central and regional level. It also covers more broadly the healthcare sector, for example by including medical device manufacturers, given the increasing security threats that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic. The expansion of the scope covered by the new rules, by effectively obliging more entities and sectors to take cybersecurity risk management measures, will help increase the level of cybersecurity in Europe in the medium and longer term.
The NIS 2 Directive also strengthens cybersecurity requirements imposed on the companies, addresses security of supply chains and supplier relationships and introduces accountability of top management for non-compliance with the cybersecurity obligations. It streamlines reporting obligations, introduces more stringent supervisory measures for national authorities, as well as stricter enforcement requirements, and aims at harmonising sanctions regimes across Member States. It will help increase information sharing and cooperation on cyber crisis management at a national and EU level.
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said: "We have been working hard for digital transformation of our society. In the past months we have put a number of building blocks in place, such as the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act. Today, Member States and the European Parliament have also secured an agreement on NIS 2. This is another important breakthrough of our European digital strategy, this time to ensure that citizens and businesses are protected and trust essential services.”
The political agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council is now subject to formal approval by the two co-legislators. Once published in the Official Journal, the Directive will enter into force 20 days after publication and Member States will then need to transpose the new elements of the Directive into national law. Member States will have 21 months to transpose the Directive into national law.
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