EU jurisdiction in security of supply matters

COLOURBOX5119180_610x256Binding Community legislation and inter-governmental co-operation form the foundation for the EU. Matters associated with security of supply do not to any great extent fall within the current scope of Community legislation, although certain strategy statements emphasise their significance. Oil products are an exception to this rule. Pursuant to the directive, the Member States are obliged to hold reserve-supply stocks of oil products corresponding to 90 days’ consumption.

The new treaty establishing the European Union, the so-called Treaty of Lisbon, takes a more holistic approach to security of supply. According to the solidarity article of the Lisbon Treaty, in effect from 1999, the European Union and its member states, inspired by solidarity, initiate a joint mission when a Member State affected by terrorist action or disaster, whether natural or human-induced, requests assistance. The duty of solidarity and mutual assistance will be specified in terms of content and deployment methods in the course of practical collaboration.

Furthermore, the previous founding treaties, the Maastricht and Amsterdam treaties, emphasised the duty of communal solidarity as well as the importance of the key common foundational systems, such as the economic and monetary unions with the central bank institution, and the activities aimed at a common foreign and security policy, including a common defence policy. In light of the Community’s common agricultural and trade policies and the directives governing security of supply, it is justified also at the national level to consider that the European Union promotes the Member States’ emergency-preparedness.

Council Directive 2008/114/EC, adopted in 2008, deals with the identification and protection of critical infrastructure. The objective of the directive is to protect the critical infrastructure elements that are in the use of more than one Member State. The energy and oil industry are included in the scope of the directive. For implementation of said directive, each Member State must designate a national government authority responsible for ensuring that the operators controlling critical infrastructure discharge the duties and obligations imposed on them. NESA is the designated national authority for Finland.