The initiative to establish Hybrid CoE originated from the Joint Communication by the European Commission and the High Representative to the European Parliament and the Council “Joint framework on countering hybrid threats – a European Union response”, decided in Brussels on 6 April 2016. The initiative was supported in the Common set of proposals for the implementation of the Joint EU/NATO Declaration, endorsed by the Council of the European Union and the North Atlantic Council on 6 December 2016.
The Hybrid CoE was established on 11th April 2017 when the first nine member states (Finland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, France, Germany and the United States) signed the Memorandum of Understanding. The official inauguration event took place on 2nd October, 2017.
Since April 2017 the Hybrid CoE has got 14 new member states. Estonia, Norway and Spain joined the Centre in July 2017, the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Austria, Canada, Romania, and Cyprus during 2018 and Greece, Montenegro, and Slovenia during this year.
The host country of the Secretariat is Finland. The Centre has a domestic legal personality and the capacity to perform its functions in the Republic of Finland in accordance with national legislation (unofficial translation) that entered into force on 1 July 2017.
The Secretariat, headed by the Director, will manage the Centre’s administration and general functions. It will coordinate the relevant activities of the Communities of Interest (COI) on (1) hybrid influencing, (2) strategy and defence, and (3) vulnerabilities and resilience. The Secretariat is also responsible for preparing and organising the meetings of the Steering Board, and cooperating and liaising with member states, the EU and the NATO.
The Steering Board (SB), consisting of representatives of the member states, is the principal decision-making body at the Centre. Staff representatives from the EU and NATO are invited to attend the Steering Board meetings.
The SB will establish the policies and approve the work programme, the budget and the accounts, the annual participation fees, the admission of new member states, and adopt internal regulations, as well as approve such guidance that may be necessary for the functioning of the Hybrid CoE and its organs.