Trip Report: Homeland Security Bipartisan Delegation to France and Eastern Europe
Washington, D.C. — In light of Russia’s interference in our election and efforts to destabilize democratic states in Europe, Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) recently lead a bipartisan Congressional delegation to France, Poland, Estonia, and Ukraine to examine cybersecurity issues. The delegation was in France the day before their presidential election in which one of the candidates was the target of aggressive Russian misinformation campaign. They also met with officials in Estonia, which has greatly increased its cyber capabilities since a crippling Russian cyberattack in 2007. They then met with leaders in Poland and Ukraine to discuss the importance of European security and NATO and to investigate the ways Russia threatens Eastern Europe with their cyber and military capabilities.
Chairman McCaul: “The timing of this trip was absolutely critical as Russia continues to wage a cyber war around the world and engage in military action against our allies. We must continue to work with and support these European nations to combat any and all Russian efforts to destabilize and interfere with them. After standing on the front-lines of Russian aggression and speaking with the leaders of these countries, I came away knowing we need to do all we can to support them, but also that we can all learn from their past experiences to bolster our own cybersecurity posture and national security.”
The Congressional delegation included: Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Congressman Kenny Marchant (R-TX), Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX), Congresswoman Martha McSally (R-AZ), Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA), Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), and Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (D-NY).
The Congressional delegation flew to Paris to meet with top leaders in France, including Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary General Christian Masset and Ministry of Defense Counselor Jean-Claude Mallet, to assess terror threats to their country and ISIS plots against the West.
Chairman Michael McCaul shakes hands with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary General Christian Masset (Friday, May 5, 2017).
The delegation met with French Ministry of Defense Counselor Jean-Claude Mallet (Friday, May 5, 2017).
While in Poland, Members met with various government leaders to examine important issues such as counterterrorism, NATO capabilities and presence, and democracy promotion.
The delegation visited Poland’s National Security Bureau to discuss prospects for increasing security cooperation (Monday, May 8, 2017).
The delegation had the opportunity to meet with U.S. Marines stationed in Poland (Monday, May 8, 2017).
The delegation traveled to Estonia and met with key officials, including Prime Minister of Estonia Juri Ratas, to discuss Estonia’s critical role in NATO’s cybersecurity cooperation and defense efforts in the EU and NATO.
During a meeting with Estonia’s Prime Minister Juri Ratas, the delegation discusses bilateral relations and cyber cooperation (Tuesday, May 9, 2017).
Chairman McCaul on how America can learn from Estonia’s experiences dealing with cyberattacks.
The Congressional delegation concluded with a visit to Ukraine where they met with officials, including the Prime Minister and President, to discuss Russian aggression, U.S. support, cybersecurity, and promoting democracy and economic freedom.
The delegation met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to discuss enhancing cooperation in order to strengthen the capability of Ukraine to resist Russian aggression (Thursday, May 11, 2017).
Chairman McCaul on the threat of Russian aggression against Ukraine.