Ministry sets up a project to improve resilience of critical infrastructure and to identify entities critical to the functioning of society
The Ministry of the Interior has set up a legislative project concerning the implementation of the EU’s proposed Directive on Critical Entities Resilience (CER), which is currently under consideration in the Union. The project will enhance national security and the resilience of society.
The CER Directive, which will enter into force in December 2022, will introduce new requirements for Finland, including new official duties related to the identification and supervision of critical entities. Finland has not defined its national critical infrastructure, critical sectors or entities at the legislative level.
“Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine and the dramatic changes in the security environment have further increased the need to protect critical infrastructure and strengthen its resilience. The sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipeline shows that Europe as a whole urgently needs to tackle this matter. In connection with the national implementation of the EU Directive, the aim is to review and develop more comprehensively both the critical infrastructure and the regulation that applies to it based on national needs,” says Minister of the Interior Krista Mikkonen.
Proposed directive covers 11 sectors
The Commission published the EU Security Union Strategy in 2020. It outlines comprehensive measures to promote the resilience of critical entities in the physical and digital environment. The EU Member States should use harmonised procedures to define and identify the entities critical to the functioning of societies and improve their crisis resilience. That will also improve the preparedness of the EU and its Member States for wide-ranging influence activities, such as hybrid threats.
The legislative project will be implemented in sectors defined in the CER Directive. The scope of the proposed directive covers eleven sectors: energy, transport, banking, financial market infrastructure, health, food, drinking water, waste water, digital infrastructure, public administration, and space. In the implementation of the Directive, sectors and industries may be included in national regulation if this is deemed necessary.
Completed reviews form the basis of the legislative project
In spring 2022, the Government submitted to Parliament a report on changes in the security environment. The report requires that the Government set up a legislative project to prepare a proposal for legislation on strengthening the resilience of critical infrastructure.
Since the publication of the Government report, the ministries have reviewed the existing national legislation and areas of development in official duties. The reviews identified the need to organise official duties and supervision in a centralised manner under the Government. These reviews will form the basis for the work on the legislative project.
A steering group of permanent secretaries to guide the project
A steering group will be appointed to direct and decide on the guidelines of the project. It will consist of the permanent secretaries of the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and Ministry of Justice. The Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of the Interior will chair the steering group while the State Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office will act as vice chair.
The project will cover several existing agency functions and a separate expert group will be appointed to evaluate the current situation. The group’s expertise will also be widely utilised in the preparation of new legislation and the planning of support and supervision models on crisis resilience. Permanent experts will be appointed from the National Emergency Supply Agency, Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, Energy Authority and National Land Survey of Finland.
CER Directive to come into force in December
The proposed CER Directive is part of the implementation of the EU Security Union Strategy, which also includes a new cyber security strategy and an update to the Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive. The Ministry of Transport and Communications will set up a legislative project on the NIS Directive in December.
The CER Directive is expected to enter into force still in 2022. The EU Member States will have 21 months to amend their legislation as required by the Directive.
Kirsi Pimiä, Permanent Secretary, Chair of the steering group, tel. +358 295 488 203, [email protected]
Petri Knape, Director of the National Security Unit, tel. +358 295 488 235, [email protected]
Eero Kytömaa, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 488 280, [email protected]