CYPnaval 2019_e-Booklet Defence & Security 4BLUE ECONOMY - Page 6

In June 2014 the General Affairs Council of the European Union approved the “European Union Maritime Security Strategy” (EUMSS), following the mandate by EU Heads of State or Government in their ‘Defence Summit’. The EU Maritime Security Strategy is a foundation document based on the EU Security Strategy and the Integrated Maritime Policy. Besides that, the Steering Board of the European Defence Agency noted the Agency’s activities in support of the EU Maritime Security Strategy Action Plan. Security is a vital element for the enhancement and the protection of Blue Economy. Cyprus, through its participation in the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), shares together with the other Member States of the Union this common vision for a better Europe and a better World. Energy security in particular has emerged as an issue of great importance, as the uninterrupted flow of energy is a vital element for the sustainable growth of the economy. The countries of the Eastern Mediterranean region should share a common goal of sustainable development and prosperity, which could result from the exploration and exploitation of their natural resources in a safe and secure Environment. An assessment of the current state of gas and oil security indicates that the risks of supply disruption have not diminished. Oil and gas installations are critical infrastructure of high importance and value. Protection of these installations is a high priority for all countries and for the EU. It has never been more important to ensure the safety and reliability of oil and gas production and distribution assets. The commercial development of these resources will undoubtedly strengthen regional energy security and attract foreign investment. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and criminal activity can all disrupt the critical energy infrastructure. While national authorities are primarily responsible for the protection of energy facilities such as power plants and transmission lines, energy disruptions can be felt across national borders. A European dimension to help manage the risks across the EU is therefore needed. To support this domain, the EU's Programme for European Critical Infrastructure Protection (EPCIP) for energy, transportation, and finance has as main areas: the creation of a procedure to identify and assess Europe's critical infrastructures and learn how to better protect them, and the measures to aid protection, including expert groups at EU level and the creation of the Critical Infrastructure Warning Information Network (CIWIN). Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to underline that the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East is a region of tremendous potential, yet this potential can only be realized in an environment of sustainable peace, development, security and cooperation. I would like to reiterate my country's will to take advantage of its strategic geographical location as well as the traditional close relations with the countries of our region and the EU in order to contribute effectively to the enhancement of the protection of the Blue Economy in the Mediterranean Sea. I will conclude by thanking you all for your participation today, particularly all our distinguished speakers and guests to Cyprus. Cyprus, may be a small Member State of European Union, however, we do believe that we can also play a positive role in Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. I am confident that the present conference will achieve its significant objectives and will present us with a wealth of tools to address today's challenges. Our expectation is that the conclusions of the conference will be of great help to decision makers and I can assure you that these will be taken into consideration in the elaboration and formalization of the Government's policy. I wish to thank you all for your attention, I wish you every success in today’s conference and a pleasant and memorable stay in Cyprus. 2/2