Hybrid CoE is an international, independent network-based organization promoting a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to countering hybrid threats.
While understanding the changing security environment is essential, it is not enough to analyse the threats, but also to provide concrete tools for countering them. Hence, the Centre’s key task is to build participating states’ capabilities to prevent and counter hybrid threats. This is done by sharing best practices, testing new ideas and approaches, and providing training courses and exercises.
Hybrid CoE also has an important role as a platform between the EU and NATO, providing a forum for strategic discussions and joint training and exercises.
The excellence is achieved through Hybrid CoE’s cross-governmental, cross-sectoral networks, which consist of over 1,200 practitioners and experts working with hybrid threat- related tasks in participating states, in the EU or NATO, in the private sector and in academia.
As an actor connecting other actors from various societal sectors, the Centre’s aim is also to lead the conversation on hybrid threats by publishing a wide variety of publications and engaging with various partners in the field.
The Centre’s work is planned and coordinated by the Hybrid CoE Secretariat located in Helsinki, Finland.
The Centre currently has three active Community of Interest (COI) networks – Hybrid Influencing (led by the UK), Vulnerabilities and Resilience (led by Finland), and Strategy and Defence (led by Germany). The networks are managed by the Secretariat.
The Communities of Interest comprise networks of practitioners from the participating states and institutions. The COIs provide a space for multinational and multidisciplinary sharing of best practice, experience and expertise so that participating states and institutions can better understand, counter, and respond to hybrid threats. They also provide a space for action to be coordinated.
The research team supports the Centre’s work by advancing understanding of the academic research and debate on relevant topics. It hosts a comprehensive network of academic experts. The COIs participate in the research function’s work by providing input from their activities.
The training and exercises team supports the work of the Centre, acting as an enabler and implementer by planning and executing table-top and experimental exercises with different hybrid threat scenarios.
The Hybrid CoE Secretariat
Hybrid CoE’s host country is Finland and the Secretariat is located in Helsinki. 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 current Director, Teija Tiilikainen, manages the Centre’s administration and general functions. The Secretariat is also responsible for preparing and organizing the meetings of the Steering Board, as well as cooperating and liaising with participating states, the EU and NATO, and building and maintaining networks.
Participating states can send employees on secondment to the Secretariat. There are currently 14 seconded employees from 11 states.
The Centre’s annual budget amounts to 2.9 million euros. Half of this is covered by the host nation Finland and other half comes from participation fees paid by the 28 participating states.
The Hybrid CoE Steering Board
The Steering Board (SB), consisting of representatives from the participating 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 establishes policies, adopts internal regulations, and approves the work programme, the budget and the accounts, the annual participation fees, and the admission of new participating states. It also approves such guidance that may be necessary for the functioning of Hybrid CoE and its organs.
The Steering Board is led by the Chair, who is currently Undersecretary of EU Affairs from the Finnish Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Jori Arvonen.