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Brussels, 5 March 2010

EU and US discuss Critical Infrastructure Protection

The 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.

"I am pleased to see such a successful beginning of the cooperation process between the experts from the EU and the US. The interest raised by the meeting proves that it is the right time to begin sharing experience and best practices in Critical Infrastructure Protection with our main partners outside the Union," declared Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner responsible for Home Affairs. " Today's interconnected economy means that no country can address critical infrastructure issues on its own. It is, therefore, obvious that the European Union cannot only focus on internal protection aspects. External engagement and cooperation, especially with neighbouring countries and strategic partners is not just recommended; it is absolutely necessary," s he added.

Discussions focused on four key topics:

  • Exchange of information on national Critical Infrastructure Protection arrangements;

  • How different economic sectors are dependent on each other;

  • Experiences and methodologies identifying critical infrastructure;

  • Good practices in network and information protection.

The meeting succeeded in increasing awareness of shared issues concerning Critical Infrastructure Protection in the EU and the US and in setting out an agenda for future expert level meetings.

The basis for the EU-US cooperation in this field is the Commission's European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection in 2006. The Programme represents a broad framework for Critical Infrastructure Protection activities within the EU, and clearly established developing an external dimension as one of its main pillars.

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