Utility networks are one example of critical infrastructures© Gesine Kuhlmann
EU and US discuss Critical Infrastructure Protection
The European Commission and the EU Presidency organised the first EU-US expert meeting on Critical Infrastructure Protection in Madrid on 4-5 March. The meeting brought together almost 100 experts from the EU Member States, the US and the European Economic Area countries, and constituted the opening event for the future EU – US cooperation process in the field of Critical Infrastructure Protection.
At the event, the JRC Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) presented the principles behind the identification of European critical infrastructures. The JRC-IPSC carries out research work in support to European policies in this field by providing policy makers and stakeholders with information, instruments and methods for the identification of critical infrastructures, for a better understanding of the risks, for the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the security issues as well as for the determination of the security condition of systems.
A key element of the European policies in this field is the Council Directive on the identification and designation of European Critical Infrastructures (2008/114/EC), which was adopted in December 2008. The JRC-IPSC contributed decisively to the development of the criteria and of the guidelines that will be used by Member States to identify these European Critical Infrastructures (ECI). The activity consisted of analysis of measures for criticality and consequence assessment of failure of infrastructure on inter-dependent infrastructures and on society in terms of casualties, economic and public effects.
The JRC-IPSC is also contributing to a Commission Task Force that is exploring the needs and opportunities to set-up a European network of experimental and modelling & simulation facilities with the objective of providing Member States with independent, enhanced and the most scientifically advanced testing products and services for the protection and security of critical infrastructures against all hazards.