Critical Infrastructure in the Energy Sector

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"Critical infrastructure" means an asset, system or part thereof located in Member States which is essential for the maintenance of vital societal functions, health, safety, security, economic or social well-being of people, and the disruption or destruction of which would have a significant impact in a Member State as a result of the failure to maintain those functions.

"European critical infrastructure" or "ECI" means critical infrastructure located in Member States the disruption or destruction of which would have a significant impact on at least two Member States. The significance of the impact shall be assessed in terms of cross-cutting criteria. This includes effects resulting from cross-sector dependencies on other types of infrastructure.

On 8 December 2008 the Council of the European Union adopted a Directive 2008/114/EC on the identification and designation of European critical infrastructures and the assessment of the need to improve their protection. This Directive concentrates on the energy and transport sectors. Disaster Protection Act  shall introduce the requirements of Council Directive 2008/114/EC of 8 December 2008 on the identification and designation of European critical infrastructures and the assessment of the need to improve their protection (OJ, L 345/75 of 23 December 2008).

The man-made, technological threats and natural disasters should be taken into account in the critical infrastructure protection process, but the threat of terrorism should be given priority.

There are a certain number of critical infrastructures in the Community, the disruption or destruction of which would have significant cross-border impacts. This may include transboundary cross-sector effects resulting from interdependencies between interconnected infrastructures. Such ECIs shall be identified and designated by means of a common procedure. The evaluation of security requirements for such infrastructures shall be done under a common minimum approach. Information pertaining to the designation of a particular infrastructure as an ECI shall be classified at an appropriate level in accordance with existing Community and Member State legislation.

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