EU members agree on resilience of critical infrastructure

epa09438424 Slovenian Interior Minister Ales Hojs EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET / POOL

EU members approved a negotiating position on a draft directive on the resilience of critical entities for talks with the European Parliament on Monday.  The directive aims at reducing vulnerability and increasing the resilience of critical infrastructure and systems in nine sectors, ranging from energy to health.

The Council’s negotiating mandate covers energy, transport, banks, financial market infrastructure, health, drinking water, wastewaters, digital infrastructure, and space.

“A series of crises in recent years, including terrorist attacks, COVID-19 and extreme weather conditions, have challenged the preparedness of our systems and infrastructure, showing us that we can do more to be collectively prepared for the crises of the future, whatever their nature,” said Slovenian Interior Minister Aleš Hojs.

Strengthening Europe’s resilience is also one of Slovenia’s EU presidency priorities, which is drawing to a close.

In line with the position agreed upon today, EU members will have to put in place a strategy to strengthen the resilience of their critical subjects, carry out a risk assessment at least every four years, and identify essential subjects which provide vital services.

The draft directive also sets down the rule under which a piece of critical infrastructure will be deemed of European importance if it provides a key service to more than a third of EU members or more than a third of EU members.

The European Commission presented the draft directive on critical infrastructure in December 2020 and a draft directive on cybersecurity, with EU member states pointing to the need to harmonise both drafts in the discussions that followed.

To achieve this, the position adopted today aligns their scope by ensuring that all sectors from the first directive are also included in the second one, which also features some other sectors, the release from the Council said.

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