Hybrid threats and harbour protection workshop fills gaps in resilience

Hybrid CoE and its COI Vulnerabilities and Resilience (COI VR) organised a two-day workshop on Hybrid Threats and Harbour Protection in cooperation with the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the ResQU2 platform[1].

The workshop examined hybrid threats in a harbour protection context by assessing vulnerabilities and solutions for effective protection measures and improved resilience. Particular attention was paid to existing capabilities for countering hybrid threats, and to potential development needs.
The emphasis was on the roles of the large number of operators involved in a single harbour, and on assessing the potential capability gaps and development needs among key stakeholders.

Four specific hybrid threat scenarios were examined during the second day of the workshop. Participants worked in small groups exploring potential proactive means and countermeasures for detecting and responding to hybrid attacks targeted against harbours, vessels and sea lines of communication.

It was concluded that digitalisation of the port processes including the whole logistics chain is the current trend. This exposes new potential vulnerabilities in terms of hybrid operations. All the port community has to recognise this trend and seek the necessary solutions to maintain and improve resilience.

The workshop brought together key public and private partners: harbour authorities, shipping industry and related business entities, representatives of the EU and NATO, as well as transport, security and defence experts from relevant ministries and governmental agencies.
The workshop provided a follow-up to previous activities undertaken by the COl VR:

  • the Workshop on Harbour Protection in the Hybrid Threat Environment organised jointly with the EDA in its Brussels premises on 29–30 May 2018,
  • the International Symposium on Maritime Security on 4–5 September 2018, organised jointly with the Helmut Schmidt Defence University in Hamburg, and
  • the Workshop on Hybrid Scenarios in the Baltic Sea on 28–29 May 2019, organised in cooperation with Re5QU2 project in the Turku Archipelago, Finland.

As a result of the four workshops, Hybrid CoE will launch a Handbook on Harbour Protection later this year. For further information, please contact Director of COI VR Jukka Savolainen: jukka.savolainen(at)hybridcoe.fi

[1] the ResQU2 platform is funded by EU’s Interreg programme and led by University of Turku

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