Student Paper: “European Critical Infrastructure”, Pieter-Jan Vandoren

As part of the prize of the TEPSA Student Contest 2023, we are publishing the three best policy papers we received from applicants. To learn more about the TEPSA Student Contest 2023 click here, and to read the other papers, head over to our ‘Student Papers’ section of the TEPSA website!

With the war in Ukraine, the importance of critical infrastructure becomes clear. Europe can ask itself; how is the critical infrastructure in Europe protected? In this policy brief, I will go through the legislative elements that put together the defence of the European critical infrastructure and argue that, while the EU is going on the right track, they have been consistently lagging behind.

As the war keeps raging on in Ukraine, the EU has been dealt front-row tickets to the devastating effects of critical infrastructure being destroyed. Constant bombings on the energy infrastructure and temperatures dropping far below the freezing point forces Ukrainian citizens to flee the country to survive (Fleming, 2022). Attacks near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant damaged the electricity grid to such an extent that it had to rely on a few diesel generators in order to prevent a nuclear meltdown (Olearchyk, 2022). Finally, according to Russian media, Russian soldiers were evacuated after rumors that Ukrainians were plotting to blow up the dam, flood the city of Cherson, and kill thousands of inhabitants (Seddon, 2022).