Despina Spanou

Director for Digital Society, Trust and Cybersecurity, European Commission

Despina Spanou is the Director for Digital Society, Trust and Cybersecurity at the Directorate-General Communications Network, Content and Technology. In this capacity she is responsible for cybersecurity policy and law, digital privacy, connected cities and mobility, digital health and e-government as well as electronic identification. She oversaw the work on the actions on Cybersecurity adopted in September 2017, including the Cybersecurity Act and Recommendation on large scale cybersecurity incidents. She is a member of the Management Board of ENISA and of the Steering Board of CERT-EU. She recently led the restructuring of the Directorate to expand on research technology and capacity building in cybersecurity. 

She was previously Director for Consumer Affairs at the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers (2013-2017). She has served as Principal Adviser in the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers where she was responsible for communication and strategic issues. She was the Deputy Head of Cabinet for the European Commissioner for Health and Consumers Mr. Kyprianou (2004-2008) and for the Commissioner for Health, and later Education & Culture, Mrs. Vassiliou (2008-2010).  

Despina Spanou started her career at the European Commission at the Directorate General for Competition in 2003. She had previously practised European law with the Brussels branch of a US law firm. She is of Cypriot origin, a member of the Athens Bar Association and holds a Ph.D. in European law from the University of Cambridge.

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Driving up cyber capabilities in the EU

Cybersecurity is a must for the successful development of the European Union’s Digital Single Market. It is demonstrated by the recent legislative and policy actions and proposals the European Commission enhances further cyber resilience in Europe. The NIS Directive, the Cybersecurity Act, the proposal to create a cybersecurity competence network with a European Cybersecurity Research and Competence Centre are some of the most notable actions coupled with a pro-active approach in response coordination and closer work with the EU Cybersecurity Agency, ENISA.

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