EU infrastructure a ‘goal’ for first time in latest historical past, says von der Leyen

The European Union’s power infrastructure has turn into a goal for the primary time in latest historical past, Ursula von der Leyen stated on Wednesday, including that the bloc should perform stress checks of important infrastructure and make higher use of its surveillance satellites to forestall acts of sabotage.

“The acts of sabotage in opposition to Nordstream pipelines have proven how susceptible our power infrastructure is. For the primary time in latest historical past, it has turn into a goal,” the Fee chief informed the plenary of the EU parliament in Strasbourg. 

4 leaks had been final week detected on the 2 Nord Stream pipelines that join Russia to Germany by means of the Baltic Sea. An investigation is now underwater however Western international locations say they’re almost certainly the results of deliberate motion with Sweden and Denmark writing in a letter to the United Nations Safety Council that “no less than two detonations” had been recorded by seismological institutes.

Von der Leyen described pipelines and underwater cables as “the lifelines of knowledge and power” for European residents and companies and that it’s due to this fact “within the curiosity of all Europeans to higher defend this important infrastructure.”

The bloc is presently within the technique of updating its important infrastructure directive that first got here into pressure in 2008 to have it cowl 11 danger areas together with pure hazards, terrorist assaults, insider threats, and sabotage, but additionally public well being emergencies just like the latest COVID-19 pandemic.

The brand new legislation, which nonetheless must be accredited by MEPs, is anticipated to return into pressure in 2024 however von der Leyen argued on Wednesday that “we will and will already now be engaged on this foundation.”

She additionally stated that the bloc must “stress check” its infrastructure, first these associated to power provide but additionally “different high-risk sectors” together with offshore digital and electrical energy infrastructure. 

“We don’t have to attend until one thing occurs however we have to guarantee that we’re ready and due to this fact we’d like these stress checks.

“We have to establish whether or not we have now weak factors and the place these weak factors are and, in fact, we have now to organize our response to sudden disruptions. What are we doing then? Are all the knowledge chains in place? Is everyone knowledgeable? Does this emergency state of affairs actually work then in our Single Market?,” she informed MEPs.

Lastly, she referred to as for the bloc to “make greatest use of our satellite tv for pc surveillance capability”.

“We now have these satellites in place, we have now the capability to do the surveillance to detect potential threats so that is additionally a matter of prevention and consciousness,” she stated.

Throughout her deal with to parliament, the European Fee president additionally expanded on her proposals to impose a cap on the value of gasoline used for electrical energy era in an effort to scale back power payments for residents. She stated such a measure, which must be agreed upon by member states, “would even be a primary step on the best way to a structural reform, an general reform of our electrical energy market.”

She additionally reiterated her stance that the EU roll out a cap on the value of Russian gasoline imported by pipelines. 

She closed her speech by addressing the scenario in Ukraine, praising the latest “spectacular successes” of the Ukrainian military. 

“Now’s the time to maintain observe, to assist the Ukrainians to face down the invader. A powerful and steadfast Europe that would be the solely strategy to cease Putin. That is the second to remain the course and to sign once more we keep by your aspect so long as it takes,” she stated.

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