Energy Weekly Publications #23 Critical Infrastructure

5 June 2023

The energy sector, as one of the key sectors for the proper functioning of the state, its economy and the security of its citizens, may be subject to special protection under crisis management. In particular, the most important energy infrastructure may be classified as so-called critical infrastructure at national or European level.

According to the Act on Crisis Management, critical infrastructure should be understood as systems and their functionally related objects, including buildings, equipment, installations, services that are key to the security of the state and its citizens and that serve to ensure the efficient functioning of public administration authorities, as well as institutions and entrepreneurs.

It includes, in particular, systems such as, but not limited to, the system for the supply of energy, energy raw materials and fuels, communication, transport systems or the production, deposit, storage and use of chemical and radioactive substances, including potential pipelines.

The Act on Crisis Management indicates the need to protect critical infrastructure in a manner aimed at ensuring its full functionality, continuity of operations and integrity. The purpose of protection is therefore to prevent threats, risks or vulnerabilities, as well as to mitigate and neutralise their effects, and to rapidly restore infrastructure in the event of breakdowns, attacks and other events that disrupt its proper functioning.

The scope of protection is defined in the National Programme for the Protection of Critical Infrastructure, prepared by the Government Centre for Security. Protection is understood as the process of ensuring security, including the process of reaching the expected outcome and involving many entities, especially public administration bodies. Protection includes physical, technical, legal, personal, ICT protection and recovery plans. Any action taken to ensure the protection of Critical Infrastructure should be proportionate to the level of risk of disruption.

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Marek Grzywacz, Ph.D., Counsel