• MOOC coordinators Manuel Gértrudix Barrio & Rubén Arcos Martín
  • Content written by Giorgos Triantafyllou
  • Multimedia design by Alejandro Carbonell Alcocer
  • Visual Identity by Juan Romero Luis

Current perceptions of threats

What are the main security threats affecting European liberal democracies in the digital era?

In 2018, cyber-attacks were perceived by Europeans as the top security priority for Europe, above state collapse or civil wars in EU’s neighborhood, external meddling in domestic politics, uncontrolled migration into the country, and the deterioration of the international institutional order. More precisely, as Infographic 1 shows, 18 EU member states perceived cyber-attacks as a significant threat, with 6 of them considering cyber-attacks the top-priority threat to their security.

1.2.3.(1)Current perceptions of threats (number of EU countries)

Large and/or wealthy member states (such as Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the UK) appear to be most concerned about cyber-attacks – either in terms of their likelihood, impact, or manageability. This preoccupation must stem from an awareness of their societies’ reliance on digitized systems, since these countries are widely seen as “leaders” on cyber issues within the EU. In fact, as Infographic 2 shows, 16 countries feel vulnerable to cyber-attacks, with 6 of them perceiving themselves as very vulnerable. On the contrary, 10 others feel resilient to cyber-attacks, with only one of them feeling very resilient to this kind of attacks.

1.2.4(2)Perceptions of vulnerability and resilience against security threats (number of EU countries)

Methodology and Resources