Hybrid threats in the spotlight of experts at the 7th EU Support HUB meeting in Chisinau

Innovative methods of collaboration and coordination to prevent the consequences of hybrid threats were discussed on September 21st on the platform of the EU Support Hub for Internal Security and Border Management in the Republic of Moldova (EU Support Hub). Hybrid threats refer to actions carried out by state or non-state actors whose aim is to undermine or damage a target through a combination of military and non-military overt or covert means.

The 7th operational meeting of the EU Support HUB was organised by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) in partnership with the European Commission, the EU Delegation to the Republic of Moldova and the EU Partnership Mission to Moldova (EUPM Moldova).

The event, co-chaired by the MIA and the EUPM Moldova, was attended by key European security experts and practitioners, including Mr Mindaugas Lasas, Head of Sector Hybrid Threats at the European External Action Service (EEAS); Mr Cosmin Dinescu, Head of the European Union Partnership Mission to Moldova (EUPM Moldova); Frank Paul, Internal Security Advisor for relations with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME), European Commission.

The operational meeting was focused on countering hybrid threats and was attended by strategic and operational experts from EU Member States and the Republic of Moldova, together with representatives of European institutions and agencies such as Frontex, Europol and Cepol. The participants met to discuss best practices and effective ways to address hybrid threats, including based on Republic of Moldova’s experience.

Since its launch, the HUB has been designed as a common operational platform to facilitate the connection between specialists and create a forum for strategic discussions. Over a year of HUB activity, tangible results have been achieved and are contributing to improving European security in line with the latest developments in cross-border crime and hybrid threats. The results include:

  • About 110 operational actions in which the Republic of Moldova participates during 2023 on the European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats (EMPACT);

  • Development of the first Moldovan Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) analysis and its submission to the European Police Office Europol as a national contribution for the design of European analytical products;

  • Over 15 joint investigations with Europol support on emerging trends in cross-border crime;

  • The Republic of Moldova hosted the first two meetings of the Eastern Forum on Border Security and Management, bringing together heads of national police, border police and high-ranking officials from more than 10 countries on the Eastern European flank.

Thanks to the support of our European and international partners, Moldova has raised awareness on hybrid threats and manifestations and has formed a community that contributes and attracts resources to increase the resilience of Moldova and the EU alike. This would not have been possible without the constant support of Commissioner Ylva Johanson and the EU Council Presidencies of the Czech Republic, Sweden and Spain’ said Adrian Efros, Minister for Internal Affairs.

The subject of today’s meeting is very relevant for the Republic of Moldova and the whole region. Moldova is suffering from the repercussions of Russia’s war against Ukraine and the ongoing attempts to destabilise the country. In the context of evolving security challenges, the EU-Moldova security cooperation has intensified considerably in recent years in order to support Moldova’s resilience and enable it to play an active role in regional security’ said Jānis Mažeiks, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova.

We act in a spirit of partnership, in line with our full appreciation of the prompt, determined and capable approach of our partners in the Republic of Moldova. EUPM Moldova’s strategic and integrated support through advice, training and equipment should be understood as an unwavering and firm commitment of the EU Member States to Moldova’s resilience, stability and security. We remain Moldova’s security partner on its path towards EU integration’ said Cosmin Dinescu, Head of the European Union Partnership Mission to Moldova (EUPM Moldova).

The event is another step towards strengthening capabilities to combat hybrid threats across Europe. Thanks to strategic and operational cooperation, through intensified exchanges of both qualitative and quantitative relevant data, a stronger security shield for the European region is established.