EU launches infrastructure protection package

Published 14 December 2006

An EU commission fashions what it calls “horizontal framework” which will offer better and more effective campaign to protect of EU critical infrastructures such as transport and communications

Two days ago the European Commission adopted a Communication on a European Program for Critical Infrastructure Protection (EPCIP) and a proposal to identify and improve the protection of key potential terrorist targets in the EU countries. A Commission spokesman said: “Obviously, without wishing to identify specific EU structures on which the new measures will focus, we intend to provide extra protection and preventative measures in EU areas such as transport, energy, water and communication technology.” Franco Frattini, the Justice, Freedom, and Security commissioner of the EU, agreed: “The security and economy of the European Union as well as the well-being of our citizens depend on certain infrastructure and the services they provide. The disruption of such infrastructure could mean the loss of lives, the loss of property and a collapse of public confidence in the EU.”

The EPCIP master plan further states that “the disruption or manipulation of critical infrastructure should, as far as possible, be brief, infrequent, manageable, geographically isolated and minimally detrimental to the welfare of member states.” It includes:

* A Council Directive on the identification and designation of European Critical Infrastructure and the assessment of the need to improve their protection. The proposed Directive establishes a procedure for the identification and designation of European Critical Infrastructures (ECI), and a common approach to the assessment of the needs to improve the protection of such infrastructure

* Measures designed to facilitate the implementation of EPCIP including an EPCIP Action Plan, the Critical Infrastructure Warning Information Network (CIWIN), the use of CIP expert groups at EU level, CIP information sharing processes and the identification and analysis of interdependencies, and

* Ssupport for member states concerning National Critical Infrastructures (NCI)

-read more in the EPCIP document