International collaboration immediately following the establishment of the Authority focused on preparations for Slovakia’s accession to NATO and the EU. Activities were primarily focused on establishing collaboration to implement legislation, regulations and standards and to gain experience in the protection of classified information. The Authority kicked off bilateral collaboration with NATO and EU Member States with the objective of creating conditions for mutual exchange and protection of classified information and collaboration in the performance of security clearance screening activities.
After Slovakia’s accession into Euro-Atlantic structures in 2004, the Authority began operating within these international organisations as an integral member sharing in both the benefits and responsibilities. From a practical perspective, the authority established foreign offices at the Permanent Delegation of the Slovak Republic to NATO and the Permanent Representation of the Slovak Republic to the EU.
Changes involved also bilateral cooperation. The Authority transitioned from an aid beneficiary to an aid provider to countries expressing interest in partnership or membership in NATO and the EU. The Authority began providing specialised and material aid, in particular to the countries of the Western Balkans. In addition to assisting these countries, the Authority continued to deepen collaboration with non-member states of the EU and NATO. The Authority has until now, concluded bilateral agreements with 36 countries covering the mutual exchange and protection of classified information. The exchange of classified information or the recognition of security clearance screenings issued abroad would be impossible without these international agreements, and the private sector would not be able to bid on classified foreign contracts.
The Authority became the National Authority for Cyber Security on January 1st, 2016. As with the protection of classified information, the Authority represents the primary contact point for NATO and the EU. The activities of the Authority’s foreign offices were modified, tasking seconded officers to represent the Authority in working groups and committees focused on the issue of cyber security.
Taking into consideration the importance of this area, the Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NATO in the first half of 2016 concerning cyber defence collaboration and joined into a public-private partnership initiative involving the European Commission, the European Cyber Security Organisation, of which the Authority became a founding member.
At the bilateral level, cyber security collaboration was initiated with select countries, which represents the Authority’s primary activity in the coming years.