Resilient Critical Infrastructure Zagreb Security Forum 2017.
(Svezak 18, br. 1-2, 2017.)
07 pro 2017 03:03:00
Gordan Akrap 

The emphasis of the second ZSF entitled Resilient Critical Infrastructure is on the resistance to the challenges the infrastructure is or will be facing, especially in the domain of hybrid threats, as well as the ability of its rapid recovery and return to a state of functioning in order to meet the key needs of the population
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The idea of Forum is a gathering of various respected international experts to discuss serious issues associated with national critical infrastructure that is also an integral part of the international infrastructural network. It is necessary to bring and link together proven experts from various but interconnected fields of life and work, and from different sectors (state, public, private and academic) to share their knowledge, to discuss it with policy makers and security officials how best to deal with emerging threats in the regional and European context. The Forum aims at sharing best practices, case study analysis, policy options debate and the creation of a regional network of experts and officials. 

The issue of sustainable planning, construction, use, maintenance, management, development and recoverability of national critical infrastructures (NCI) is exclusively within the jurisdiction of each country. It is necessary, and what is confirmed and is in accordance with the NATO Warsaw conclusions (2016), to indicate that awareness of the need to protect and preserve the efficient and smooth functioning of the national critical infrastructures is one of the pillars of defence both at national and at the level of international organizations, in this case NATO, that an individual state belongs to. Because the benefits of rational management of NCI and its rapid recoverability in the event of exposure to different types of threats is essential for the state whose the NCI are as well as for the countries that may seek assistance in situations where their NCI are endangered. Forum wants to encourage reflection on the need for tighter integration of NCI from Central and Southern Europe with those in the Middle East, which fully supports the initiative of the President of the Republic of Croatia called "Three Seas Initiative” that aims to stabilize the area which is, unfortunately, still an endless source of many conflicts and wars that mark human history.

Croatia is on the way to adapting its existing legislation to the new times, new challenges, the new but also the predictable situations and processes. This is evident from the process of drafting the Strategy of Homeland Security (DS), which should, in my opinion, change the existing paradigm of thinking "security for safety" into the paradigm that guarantees success, development and a safe future, "intelligence for development". DS Strategy, although dealing with issues in the domain of security should make it clear that its objective is not to strengthen security solely of Croatia, its residents, partners and allies, but rather to ensure our safe and unimpeded positive development. The development of NCI can and should be the driving force in creating conditions for the development and application of new technologies, new jobs with higher added value, driving force that will bring in new residents, keep the existing ones and prevent the depopulation of the country. Take for example our national strategy on cyber security adopted by one of the past governments. Instead of designing and passing the national cyber strategy that would point to the need for development and construction of cybernetic system, we focused more on protection against threats from the cyber world. For those who know how to use cyberspace, the door to a positive and better future is opening. Cyber space needs to be used as one of the essential pillars of a successful, safe, unimpeded and sustainable positive development. On the other hand, those who think only of how to protect against cyber threats when talking about cyberspace will remain on the tail of developmental processes and events.

It is necessary to have venues where can be organized intensive, effective, necessary and fruitful discussion and exchange of knowledge in order to shape our societies and our countries in such a way that they contribute to a peaceful, undisturbed, complete and safe development of all of us, and are not a source of local, national, regional, or even global conflicts and wars.

Several thematic areas are increasingly important for a sustainable development of the society and the state:

  • Water, which is an unavoidable topic because of its necessity to maintain our lives, shapes our present in different ways. Using the example of Denmark, which is surrounded by the sea and has so much water that, in case of further growth of temperatures and global warming process, it can threaten the future of the country, to Israel and Jordan, which are located in the region which, in addition to permanent conflict, is also marked by a serious water shortage, where water is a strategic asset and perhaps more valuable than energy sources themselves; 
  • Planning of a processes for preventive protection of energy infrastructure as well as models of possible crises management 
  • Cyber-world is part of our everyday life, the backbone of the future development. However, those of us who care about themselves and the societies, who want to make progress and who want to develop, should treat the cyberspace as an area of huge challenges and opportunities, with an appropriate level of protection from the dangers that come from that world. Our speakers will offer such a vision. 
Finally, although for us in Croatia it may now not look like the most important one, the question that will surely have to be discussed soon by many other countries is "What should really be considered as a national critical infrastructure?"; we should ask what it is and what it is not; what and how to protect and how to organize an effective system of integration and exchange of different competences that exist in the public, government, private and academic sectors for the benefit of all of us, and especially for the benefit of generations to come. Because, as someone once said, we only borrowed the present world from generations that are going to come.

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