Spain has approved three national strategies on aerospace, civil protection and cyber security, with the consensus of the regional governments and contributions from experts from private enterprise and the business world in each of the three fields.
Speaking at the approval, made at a meeting of the National Security Council last Friday, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez highlighted the importance of the matters contained in these strategies, such as aerospace security, “because they define Spain’s position on the governance of two key spaces for our security: air space and outer space”.
Sánchez also stressed the importance for Spain of a National Civil Protection Strategy, for the first time ever, which seeks to reduce the risk of disasters and provide a comprehensive plan to tackle them.
As regards cyber security, Sánchez argued that “this is an important priority, since we are speaking about preserving the rights and liberties of our citizens, the defense of Spain and the transformation of our digital society, which is so necessary to make progress, for innovation and for industrial development”.
The Minister for Home Affairs, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, presented a report on the security of electoral processes under way deriving from the European Commission recommendation to guarantee physical security and the security of information, networks and systems in electoral processes that are being held in different EU countries.
Overlapping election processes
Furthermore, there is a multitude of unprecedented overlapping electoral processes being held in Spain in 2019. Accordingly, the Ministry of Home Affairs has established a series of measures, both on operational and preventive coordination and action in order to place all the capabilities of the public authorities at the service of citizens, to which end the Coordination Network for Security in Electoral Processes has been set up, which seeks to guarantee the development of electoral processes, safeguard personal details, cater for the risk of cyber attacks and combat fake news.
Fernando Grande-Marlaska also presented the National Civil Protection Strategy which, in contrast to others, derives from Spain’s own experience and its disaster management model. This is the first strategy approved in Spain under the provisions of the National System for Civil Protection Act 2015 and the 2017 National Security Strategy. It seeks to reduce the risk of disasters and to provide a comprehensive plan to tackle them whenever people’s lives or health, State assets, the environment or economic development are at risk.
These risks include, inter alia, wildfires, flooding, adverse meteorological phenomena, risks of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or of a technological origin which, on occasions, may have a knock-on effect and although of relatively little probability or likelihood of occurring, may have a serious impact.
Novel aerospace strategy
The Secretary for National Security and Director of the Presidency of the Government Office, Iván Redondo, was tasked with presenting the National Aerospace Security Strategy, which is one of the most original in the world.
Few countries have a security strategy that focuses on the control of outer space and fewer still have similar documents that join together, in a single strategy, the analysis of security contingencies in both air space and outer space.
Both air space and outer space, which are open and without visible borders, connect the world and allow for the free movement of people, goods, services, information and ideas. Their military, economic, industrial and communication implications explain why the development of this National Aerospace Security Strategy presents such a key step. The strategy contains the main threats in this field: armed conflicts, terrorist actions, espionage, cyber threats, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the growing use of unmanned aircraft for illegal purposes. It also defines the measures to combat, reduce and neutralise these threats.
The Director of the National Intelligence Centre, General Félix Sanz Roldán, presented the 2019 National Cyber Security Strategy, which updates the 2013 strategy, and tackles new challenges that have arisen in this field which is in permanent flux due to technological developments. This strategy also provides for the creation of a new National Cyber Security Forum, which combines collaboration between the public and private sectors.