Digital Operational Resilience Act Articles (Proposal)

The Articles (Proposal) of the Digital Operational Resilience Act

Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA), Preamble 1 to 10.


Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 114 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Central Bank,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee,

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure,


(1) In the digital age, information and communication technology (ICT) supports complex systems used for everyday societal activities. It keeps our economies running in key sectors, including finance, and enhances the functioning of the single market. Increased digitalisation and interconnectedness also amplify ICT risks making society as a whole - and the financial system in particular - more vulnerable to cyber threats or ICT disruptions. While the ubiquitous use of ICT systems and high digitalisation and connectivity are nowadays core features of all activities of Union financial entities, digital resilience is not yet sufficiently built in their operational frameworks.

(2) The use of ICT has in the last decades gained a pivotal role in finance, assuming today critical relevance in the operation of typical daily functions of all financial entities. Digitalisation covers, for instance, payments, which have increasingly moved from cash and paper-based methods to the use of digital solutions, as well as securities clearing and settlement, electronic and algorithmic trading, lending and funding operations, peer-to-peer finance, credit rating, insurance underwriting, claim management and back-office operations. Finance has not only become largely digital throughout the whole sector, but digitalisation has also deepened interconnections and dependencies within the financial sector and with third-party infrastructure and service providers.

(3) The European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) has reaffirmed in a 2020 report addressing systemic cyber risk how the existing high level of interconnectedness across financial entities, financial markets and financial market infrastructures, and particularly the interdependencies of their ICT systems, may potentially constitute a systemic vulnerability since localised cyber incidents could quickly spread from any of the approximately 22 000 Union financial entities to the entire financial system, unhindered by geographical boundaries. Serious ICT breaches occurring in finance do not merely affect financial entities taken in isolation. They also smooth the way for the propagation of localised vulnerabilities across the financial transmission channels and potentially trigger adverse consequences for the stability of the Union’s financial system, generating liquidity runs and an overall loss of confidence and trust in financial markets.

(4) In recent years, ICT risks have attracted the attention of national, European and international policy makers, regulators and standard-setting bodies in an attempt to enhance resilience, set standards and coordinate regulatory or supervisory work. At international level, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the Committee on Payments and Markets Infrastructures, the Financial Stability Board, the Financial Stability Institute, as well as the G7 and G20 groups of countries aim to provide competent authorities and market operators across different jurisdictions with tools to bolster the resilience of their financial systems.

(5) Despite national and European targeted policy and legislative initiatives, ICT risks continue to pose a challenge to the operational resilience, performance and stability of the Union financial system. The reform that followed the 2008 financial crisis primarily strengthened the financial resilience of the Union financial sector and aimed at safeguarding the Union’s competitiveness and stability from economic, prudential and market conduct perspectives. Though ICT security and digital resilience are part of operational risk, they have been less in the focus of the post-crisis regulatory agenda, and have only developed in some areas of the Union’s financial services policy and regulatory landscape, or only in a few Member States.

(6) The Commission’s 2018 Fintech action plan 29 highlighted the paramount importance of making the Union financial sector more resilient also from an operational perspective to ensure its technological safety and good functioning, its quick recovery from ICT breaches and incidents, ultimately enabling financial services to be effectively and smoothly delivered across the whole Union, including under situations of stress, while also preserving consumer and market trust and confidence.

(7) In April 2019, the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) (jointly called “European Supervisory Authorities” or “ESAs”) jointly issued two pieces of technical advice calling for a coherent approach to ICT risk in finance and recommending to strengthen, in a proportionate way, the digital operational resilience of the financial services industry through a Union sector-specific initiative.

(8) The Union financial sector is regulated by a harmonised Single Rulebook and governed by a European system of financial supervision. Nonetheless, provisions tackling digital operational resilience and ICT security are not fully or consistently harmonised yet, despite digital operational resilience being vital for ensuring financial stability and market integrity in the digital age, and no less important than for example common prudential or market conduct standards. The Single Rulebook and system of supervision should therefore be developed to also cover this component, by enlarging the mandates of financial supervisors tasked to monitor and protect financial stability and market integrity.

(9) Legislative disparities and uneven national regulatory or supervisory approaches on ICT risk trigger obstacles to the single market in financial services, impeding the smooth exercise of the freedom of establishment and the provision of services for financial entities with cross-border presence. Competition between the same type of financial entities operating in different Member States may equally be distorted. Notably for areas where Union harmonisation has been very limited - such as the digital operational resilience testing - or absent - such as the monitoring of ICT third-party risk - disparities stemming from envisaged developments at national level could generate further obstacles to the functioning of the single market to the detriment of market participants and financial stability.

(10) The partial way in which the ICT-risk related provisions have until now been addressed at Union level shows gaps or overlaps in important areas, such as ICT-related incident reporting and digital operational resilience testing, and creates inconsistencies due to emerging divergent national rules or cost-ineffective application of overlapping rules. This is particularly detrimental for an ICT-intensive user like finance since technology risks have no borders and the financial sector deploys its services on a wide cross-border basis within and outside the Union.

Individual financial entities operating on a cross-border basis or holding several authorisations (e.g. one financial entity can have a banking, an investment firm, and a payment institution licence, every single one issued by a different competent authority in one or several Member States) face operational challenges in addressing ICT risks and mitigating adverse impacts of ICT incidents on their own and in a coherent cost-effective way.