The EU must strengthen the defences of key targets, by reducing their vulnerability to attack, and also by reducing the resulting impact of an attack.
While Member States have the primary responsibility for improving the protection of key targets, the interdependency of border security, transport and other cross-border infrastructures require effective EU collective action. In areas where EU-level security regimes exist, such as border and transport security, the EU and European Commission in particular have played an important role in raising standards. Further work between Member States, with the support of the European institutions, will provide an important framework in which Member States are able to co-ordinate their policies, share information about responses developed at national level, determine good practice, and work together to develop new ideas.
The protection of critical infrastructures is a formidable task to be undertaken by Member States and by every sector concerned. It concerns, inter alia, the safety of food, water, animals and plants, and the security of modes of transport, energy and telecommunications.
The protection of EU external borders needs to be enhanced to make it harder for known or suspected terrorists to enter or operate within the EU. Improvements in technology for both the capture and exchange of passenger data, and the inclusion of biometric information in identity and travel documents, will increase the effectiveness of our border controls and provide greater assurance to our citizens. The European Borders Agency (Frontex) will have a role in providing risk assessment as part of the effort to strengthen controls and surveillance at the EU’s external border. The establishment of the Visa Information System and second generation Schengen Information System will ensure that our authorities can share and access information and if necessary deny access to the Schengen area.
The EU must work to raise standards in transport security. We must enhance the protection of airports, seaports, and aircraft security arrangements in order to deter terrorist attacks and address the vulnerabilities in domestic and overseas transport operations. These measures will be developed by a combination of specific assessments of threat and vulnerability, the implementation of agreed EU legislation on aviation and maritime security, and the agreement of revised EU legislation on aviation security. There is also scope for working together to increase road and rail security. To support work in all of these fields, EU research and development policy including the R&D programmes should continue to include security related research in the context of terrorism.
Reducing the vulnerability across Europe of critical infrastructure to physical and electronic attack is essential. To further enhance our protection, we agreed to establish a Programme of work aimed at improving the protection of critical infrastructure across Europe. We will continue work to this end, developing an all hazard approach which recognises the threat from terrorism as a priority.
Internationally, we must work with partners and international organisations on transport security, and non-proliferation of CBRN materials and small arms/light weapons, as well as provide technical assistance on protective security to priority third countries as a component of our wider technical assistance programmes.
The EU is working on the following key priorities for ‘Protect’from terrorist attacks: