The Malta Independent 30 November 2022, Wednesday
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EP approves MEP Alex Agius Saliba’s work on measures to protect critical infrastructure

Wednesday, 23 November 2022, 16:00 Last update: about 7 days ago

Following Parliament's overwhelming approval of the report negotiated by MEP Alex Agius Saliba within the Internal Market Committee, the EU will better protect the resilience of its critical infrastructures and essential services that affect the livelihoods of all citizens and businesses. 

The new rules adopted by the European Parliament will boost the protection of the EU's essential infrastructures and strengthen its ability to react quickly to damages caused by any potential disruption, incidents, crises, or catastrophic events. 

During the Parliamentary debate, MEP Alex Agius Saliba stated: "We all depend on essential services such as energy, transport, water, digital infrastructure, health, production, and food distribution. It is in the interest of all Europeans to protect, now more than ever, services and infrastructures that play an indispensable role in maintaining vital societal functions and economic activities in the internal market."

MEP Agius Saliba mentioned that countries worked together during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the population's health while avoiding disruptions to the free movement of people and the delivery of goods and essential services across Europe.

He also stressed that since the beginning of the war against Ukraine, Europe had witnessed different sabotages against some of its critical infrastructures, such as pipelines, fibre optic cables and communications, and transports services. Agius Saliba said that pipelines and underwater cables are essential infrastructures that connect European citizens and companies to the world, and the recent sabotage on such infrastructures, such as the one against Nord Stream, is an example of how vulnerable and unprepared we are.

MEP Alex Agius Saliba explained that the European Union doesn't always have to wait until something happens and instead, it must be prepared and resilient for sudden disruption and incidents. During the Plenary debate, he explained that work on the new legislation started at the beginning of the pandemic, but now more than ever, the Union must protect its citizens, safeguard critical infrastructures, and prepare them for any sudden disruptions being a pandemic, war, sabotage, or natural disaster.

"The new rules that we have negotiated aim to build up our preparedness, strengthen our resilience, and scale up our cooperation in Europe. We will apply the rules to 11 key sectors: energy, transport, banking, financial market infrastructure, digital infrastructure, drinking and wastewater, food (including production, processing, and delivery), health, public administration, and space," concluded S&D Vice-President Alex Agius Saliba. 

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