Bucharest will host the European Cybersecurity Competence Center, a future hub to distribute EU and national funding for cybersecurity research projects across the bloc, after the majority of EU countries voted for it on Wednesday.
The city was selected from a list of seven who wanted to host the center including Brussels, Munich, Warsaw, Vilnius, Luxembourg and Leon in Spain.
Diplomats selected Bucharest with 15 votes in its favor, several EU diplomats said, in a second round that pitted Brussels against Romania’s capital.
“Hub for high tech and innovation, featuring a thriving digital ecosystem, dynamic and young, Romania’s capital will take this task in a responsible and dedicated manner, to the benefit of the entire European Union,” Romania’s permanent representation to the EU tweeted after the vote.
The center’s will manage cybersecurity funds from the EU’s research budgets, including about 2 billion euros earmarked in its Digital Europe program and millions of euros via innovation funding and coronavirus recovery funds, in addition to national contributions. The bloc is still finalizing its long-term budget for 2021-2027.
The center will not be a formal EU agency but is expected to create dozens of jobs, initially 30 and then up to 80 according to estimates. It should also help boost business for local cybersecurity companies and boost Romania’s reputation on cyber.
Romania has no EU agency, which played in its favor. It also ranks third in EU statistics on women employees in information and communications technology (ICT) and 24 percent of ICT graduates in Romania are women, the country’s bid book.
An agreement on a new law establishing the center is expected to be struck before the end of the year, and negotiators will meet this Friday to try to clinch a deal.