On 5/6 October, the Protection of Critical Energy Infrastructure (PCEI) expert group - set up under the European Commission’s Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS) - met at the European Defence Agency (EDA) to deliver the “PCEI Conceptual Paper: Focus on European Union Defence”. This step concludes the first phase of the expert group’s work. It should assist Member States to build consensus on how to enhance best the protection and resilience of defence related Critical Energy Infrastructures.
To address the risks, vulnerabilities, capability and research shortfalls of defence related Critical Energy Infrastructures (CEI), the PCEI expert group was set up in May 2016. It’s primary task was to assess how the defence sector can apply existing EU CEI legislation to enhance the protection of defence-related CEI and improve its resilience throughout Europe. For that purpose, the group developed an EU-wide defence focused ‘PCEI Conceptual Paper’.
The chairman of the group, Colonel Georgios Drosos from the Hellenic MOD, explains that “this Paper is intended to lead to a collaborative civilian-military approach which supports EU Member States in the identification of best practices and tools which will strengthen further the resilience of defence related CEI from any failures, risks or threats, including terrorism, cyber-attacks, migration flow stress, climate change, and natural hazards”.
Martin Konertz, EDA’s Capability Armaments and Technology (CAT) Director, considers that “this PCEI Conceptual Paper will provide an important building block for increased CEI resilience in the EU as it should inform a related EU policy or guidelines and assist Member States to initiate projects of common interest with the support of the EU”.
Besides the Conceptual Paper, the PCEI expert group also produced a factsheet designed to increase collaboration, awareness and visibility. Both documents will be submitted in mid-October to the European Commission’s DG Energy for final approval. Denis Roger, EDA’s European Synergies and Innovation (ESI) Director, stated: “In order to move beyond the conceptual phase and towards a broader consensus, we will need to foster a common PCEI culture within the EU defence sector and even beyond that, in wider society. In this way, we can contribute to securing a sustainable energy supply chain for both fixed infrastructures and for CSDP operations”.
The work of the PCEI expert group is led by the Ministries of Defence of Cyprus and Greece, supported by their respective national academia and research centres (Centre for Research & Technology Hellas – CERTH, Cyprus University of Technology, European University Cyprus, KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence - University of Cyprus, National Technical University of Athens - NTUA). The Commission’s DG Energy and Joint Research Centre as well as the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence (ENSEC COE) also support the work of the PCEI expert group. At this stage, six EDA Member States (Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Ireland, Greece and Cyprus) are participating in the group. It is supported within the Agency at an inter-directorate level (CAT and ESI) by CAT Project Officer Protect, Dr Constantinos Hadjisavvas, and ESI Project Officer Energy and Environment Systems, Richard Brewin.
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