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NATO and the European Union have released a Final Assessment Report produced by the NATO-EU Task Force on the Resilience of Critical Infrastructure. Launched at the beginning of the year, the Task Force focused on mapping out current security challenges and the particular importance of resilience in energy, transport, digital infrastructure, and space.

The EU and NATO share a common interest in preventing disruptions to critical infrastructure.

The two organizations will continue ‘to cooperate in a complementary and mutually reinforcing manner to build resilience and be prepared to manage disruptions from any source’.

Conclusions and recommendations in the report include:

  • There should be ‘swift engagement between high level EU and NATO officials in the case of an identified major hazard to critical infrastructure or a significant change in the security context’.
  • Regular parallel and coordinated assessments of the threats to critical infrastructure should be developed.
  • Regular cross-briefings to the EU Critical Entities Resilience Group and Politico Military Group, and NATO’s Resilience Committee should take place.
  • The resilience of critical infrastructure should be systematically taken into account in any future parallel and coordinated exercises.
  • Dedicated scenario-based discussions should be held to better understand challenges, interdependencies, and cascading effects, including through the EU-NATO Foresight Seminar and with the support of the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats.
  • Awareness should be increased of the security implications of the participation in or control of critical infrastructure by entities from strategic competitors, as well as the potential risks related to suppliers from those countries, including in 5G networks.
  • The possibilities for exchanges on how to improve the monitoring and protection of critical infrastructure in the maritime domain by relevant authorities, and discussing ways to enhance maritime situational awareness should be explored. 
  • The exchange of best practices between civilian and military actors on the implementation of relevant cyber-related policies and legislation should take place.
  • Promoting engagement among NATO Allies, EU Member States, and the private sector, including on security by design for critical infrastructure, should be a focus.
  • Promoting exchanges on the management of cross-sectoral consequences of major disruptions of critical infrastructure, in particular through increased cooperation between NATO and the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), should take place.
  • Synergies and potential areas of cooperation in security research activities related to critical infrastructure, including challenges related to new technologies or supply chain security, should be identified.

Read the report (PDF).

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