16 Dec 2010

Protecting Critical Infrastructure in the EU

Bernard Haemmerli / Andrea Renda

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Critical infrastructures such as energy, communications, banking, transportation, public government services, information technology etc., are more vital to industrialized economies and now than ever before. At the same time, these infrastructures are becoming increasingly dependent on each other, such that failure of one of them can often propagate and result in domino effects.

The emerging challenge of Critical (information) Infrastructure Protection (C(I)IP) has been recognized by nearly all member states of the European Union: politicians are increasingly aware of the threats posed by radical political movements and terrorist attacks, as well as the need to develop better response capacity in case of natural disasters. Responses to these facts have been in line with the available resources and possibilities of each country, so that certain countries are already quite advanced in translating the C(I)IP challenge into measures, whereas others are lagging behind. In the international arena of this policy domain, Europe is still in search of a role to play. Recently, CIIP policy has been integrated in the EU Digital Agenda, which testifies to the growing importance of securing resilient infrastructures for the future.

This important and most topical Task Force Report is the result of in-depth discussions between experts from different backgrounds and offers a number of observations and recommendations for a more effective and joined-up European policy response to the protection of critical infrastructure.

The Task Force was chaired by Bernhard Haemmerli, President of the Swiss Informatics Society. CEPS Senior Research Fellow Andrea Renda served as Rapporteur.