• Anders Erik Thrige Nielsen
4. semester, Europæiske Studier, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The emergence of cyberspace and ITC has ushered in the digital age. The digital age has resulted in positive as well as negative consequences for all actors inside and outside the cyber domain. It has empowered individuals around the world and helped revolutions on its way as seen with the Arab Spring. It has driven economic growth and created new markets. However, increase in cyber crime and major cyber attacks in Estonia 2007, Georgia 2008 and Iran 2010 along with cases of cyber espionage revealed in 2013, has all shown that serious risks and threats are evolving with cyberspace. Due to the rise of cyber incidents along with increased concern over critical infrastructure reliability of cyberspace many nation states are considering cyberspace the greatest security challenges of this century.

Regardless of the effects cyberspace has had on the world the amount of international relations research literature on the area is limited and in particular on the EU and cyberspace. Nevertheless, EU has an interesting role to play in regards to cyberspace because of its intergovernmental character, it is placed between the Member States and can play a facilitating and coordinating role. Which is important due to the borderless nature of cyberspace that is resulting in many cross-border issues. Due to this fact, this thesis is investigating how the EU has perceived the emergence of cyberspace and more specifically how the EU has presented its policy towards cy-berspace in its policy documents in the period 2010-2013 and if any changes in the understanding of cyberspace can be located. Additionally, it is also studied how the EU’s policy followed some of the general paradigms of understanding cyberspace with the aim of giving a deeper understand-ing on how the EU has perceived the emergence of cyberspace.

Three paradigms were constructed through reading in the research literature, media and reports. (1) social/economic paradigm, (2) political/ideologic paradigm and (3) security paradigm. The social/economic paradigm mainly focuses on cyberspace as a tool to affect the economy or society and is primarily optimistic about the effects of cyberspace. The political/ideologic paradigm mainly focuses on cyberspace as a communications tool that can spread ideas, values and norms. Security paradigm mostly focuses on cyberspace as a threat and a future battleground. These paradigms present different way actors understand cyberspace, however not one is dominant, and all paradigm recognises opportunities and threats in cyberspace.

Three EU policy documents are analysed: Digital Agenda for Europe (2010), The EU Cybersecuri-ty Strategy (2013) and the NIS Directive (2013). The results found that, the EU’s policy approach towards cyberspace in the period 2010-2013 has changed. The change was from a positive percep-tion of cyberspace focused on exploding ICT’s in the DAE to one more focused on security and limiting the threats and risks from the domain in the Cybersecurity Strategy and NIS Directive. Regardless, it was found that the EU followed the ideas of the social/economic and politi-cal/ideologic paradigms. This fact indicates that the EU’s goal still is to profit from the opportuni-ties inherited in cyberspace.
Udgivelsesdato20 dec. 2016
Antal sider49
ID: 245813739