In a gathering held in Tallinn, Estonia, the Baltic Assembly and the Nordic Council have inked a pact to enhance cybersecurity cooperation and democracy support, setting the stage for a united front against digital threats and political instability. 

The summit, which took place on 21-22 September, 2023, saw leaders from both regions coming together to address issues and chart a course for shared priorities from 2024 to 2026.

The annual summit of the Baltic Assembly and the Nordic Council marks a milestone in the collaborative efforts of these two organisations. President of the Baltic Assembly, Timo Suslov, and President of the Nordic Council, Jorodd Asphjell, stood together to seal the Decision on Priorities of Cooperation for 2024 – 2026, a document laden with cybersecurity resilience commitments. 

The crux of this agreement lies in the priorities set forth for cooperation, chief among them being support for Ukraine in its recovery from the ravages of war. The organisations have also committed to bolstering foreign and security policy, with a spotlight on cybersecurity and resilience against disinformation.

Cybersecurity cooperation takes centre stage

As the summit unfolded, cybersecurity cooperation emerged as a central theme. While commitments to secure digital infrastructure and communications are in place, continuous collaboration and information exchange remain important for dependable digital infrastructures.

Andrius Mazuronis, deputy speaker of the Seimas and member of the Security and Defence Committee of the Baltic Assembly, pointed out the evolving landscape of conflict in a digitised world. He stressed the importance of enhancing the cyber capabilities of the Baltic and Nordic countries in the face of ongoing threats, particularly from Russia.

Victoria Tiblom, a Nordic Council Committee for Knowledge and Culture member in the Nordic Region, echoed these concerns. Tiblom underlined the urgent need for improved cybersecurity expertise through recruitment and research. As all Nordic and Baltic countries are poised to become part of Nato, Tiblom emphasised the imperative for heightened cooperation in these security matters.

According to GlobalData’s Thematic Intelligence: Cybersecurity in Defense, Lithuania is one of several Baltic region countries that has been the target of cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns from actors. Since the 2014 conflict in Crimea, cyberattacks have significantly increased.

During the summit, parliamentarians from both organisations visited the NATO Co-operative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.

The Tallinn summit is poised to bolster cybersecurity defences through cooperation as digital threats and geopolitical challenges become more turbulent.