Director appointed for the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats

Government Communications Department 12.4.2017 15.00
Press release 161/2017

The Steering Board of the Centre established in Finland held its first meeting in Helsinki today. In the Board's first meeting Matti Saarelainen, the Centre’s Project Manager, was appointed as interim Director. The Member States appointed State Under-Secretary for EU Affairs Jori Arvonen to serve as Chair of the Board, which means that he will in practice continue his current functions in the launch of the Centre.

In addition, the Board discussed the future Rules of Procedure and organisation of the Centre and its membership fee for 2018. As the host country, Finland will cover the costs for operating the Centre in 2017. After 2017, the host country will provide half of the EUR 1.5 million budget (around EUR 700,000) and the other half is to be covered by membership fees (around EUR 700,000).The Board also discussed a proposal to invite a high-level Advisory Group for the Centre. The task of the Advisory Group would be, for instance, to encourage debate on hybrid threats.

Before the first meeting of the Board, representatives of all the countries that participated in the preparatory work to establish the Centre and representatives of the European External Action Service and NATO met to discuss the Centre’s future operations. The first research projects of the Centre will start in autumn 2017. One of the Centre’s first projects is to examine hybrid threats as a comprehensive phenomenon.

European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats established in Helsinki
Photos of Matti Saarelainen
Photos of Jori Arvonen

Inquiries: Jori Arvonen, State Under-Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 320, Prime Minister's Office and Matti Saarelainen, interim Director of the Centre, tel. +358 295 160 451, Prime Minister’s Office.