The gradually developing European cyber security policy tries to establish minimum standards in all EU member states with regard to prevention, resilience and international cooperation. It aims to foster national security without compromising democratic principles or unduly limiting individual liberties. However, it is hard to find a balance between these goals, and the EU’s measures thus inevitably raise questions about the democratic implications of European cyber security policy. Are the institutional structures and instruments of European cyber security policy compatible with the criteria of democratic governance?
In order to answer this question, this study first outlines the main challenges related to the promotion of Internet security. After that, the study presents the institutional architecture of global cyber security policy and identifies the key principles of organisation behind European cyber security policy. In conclusion, the study assesses how compatible the institutional framework of European cyber security policy is with democratic criteria and discusses ways to enhance cyber security without violating democratic principles.