Cybersecurity Policy Development and Capacity Building: Increasing regional cooperation in the Western Balkans


Publication date: 2021

Author: Dražen Maravić

Tags: Western Balkans

This paper identifies the ways in which closer regional collaboration is beneficial for building resilience, enhancing regional cybersecurity and enhancing strategic communication, collaboration and partnerships.

The cybersecurity workforce shortage, skills gap and slow progress in public administration reforms are significant concerns for economic development and national security in the region, especially given the rapid digitization of global and regional economies.

This policy paper identifies a customized joint framework in the form of a regional hub as a suitable example for ensuring more vital regional cooperation between Western Balkan economies, with clear political support and shared ownership. Economies of the region could task the potential regional cybersecurity hub to operate across areas which are within the usual practices of national cybersecurity authorities, thereby keeping a special focus on:

  1. Providing thought leadership and strategic development direction and analysis in the cyber-security space.
  2. Sharing information, expertise, and knowledge; and
  3. Establishing and promoting best practices based on common challenges.

Finally, joint activities in this area could potentially count on more considerable donor support if the Western Balkan economies themselves contribute and create greater sustainability of regional cooperation activities.