Health should become EU ‘critical infrastructure’

Senior officials are now calling for the EU's disparate healthcare systems to be included as "critical infrastructure" in the light of the interdependencies between member states exposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

A group of officials argue in a new white paper that the existing European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection (EPCIP) could now play a key role in EU's public health emergency preparedness.

The signatories include former MEPs, top officials from the EU's External Action Service and former heads of Intelligence Service.

The EPCIP is currently focused on protecting national and European energy and transport infrastructure, although health infrastructure is - in theory - included too.

Critical infrastructures are complex systems - such as pipelines, power plants, stock markets, railways - whose destruction or disruption could lead to significant loss of life or material damage.

However, hospital facilities, laboratories or emergency stockpiles of medical equipment also fit this description - especially when the coronavirus pandemic has shown how some EU countries were forced to rely on others for protective equipment, test and other types of resources.

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[Source: EU Observer]

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