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In December 2005, the Justice and Home Affairs Council called on the Commission to make a proposal for a European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection (EPCIP). In response, the Commission adopted this communication and a proposal for a directive on the identification and designation of European critical infrastructure with a view to improving the protection of the latter.

The communication sets out the principles, processes and instruments proposed to implement EPCIP. The threats to which the programme aims to respond are not confined to terrorism, but also include criminal activities, natural hazards and other causes of accidents, using an All-hazards approach.

The general objective of EPCIP is to improve the protection of critical infrastructure in the European Union (EU). This will be achieved by implementing the European legislation set out in this communication.

The legislative framework for the EPCIP consists of the following:

EPCIP Action Plan

The ECPIP action plan has three main work streams:

  • the first relates to the strategic aspects of EPCIP and the development of measures horizontally applicable to all CIP work;
  • the second concerns the protection of European critical infrastructures and aims to reduce their vulnerability;
  • the third is a national framework to assist EU countries in the protection of their NCI.


The European Commission's JRC, in the context of EPCIP, and with the agreement of Member States, set up the ERNCIP project in 2009. The projects started its implementation phase in 2011. Since then more than 200 experts from 140 different organisations have been involved in the network.