Vestager says Ireland cannot be a ‘weak link’ to security after Nord Stream sabotage

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager says Ireland has “a responsibility” to keep its shores safe after the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage.

s Vestager, speaking at an Ibec event hosted by Trinity College Dublin, said no country can any longer afford to be “a weak link in the chain” of European security.

“Ireland has a responsibility like everyone else,” she said. “No one can be a weak link in our chain of protection.”

While the US has hinted that Russia may be behind the Nord Stream gas leak, Ms Vestager declined to point the finger.

“So far, no one knows who is behind the Nord Stream sabotage,” she said.

“But the methane that escapes is very, very dangerous. It is estimated that this could equate to a third of annual Danish emissions.”


Competition and Digital Commissioner Margrethe Vestager speaks at the Institute for International and European Affairs. Photo: Adrian Weckler

Ms Vestager, who is also commissioner in charge of digital affairs, said she awaited discussions on improving security.

“In this way, we not only make our infrastructure at the border more secure,” she said. “Our entire energy grids are digitized, which also means that cyber security and [protecting against] Breakouts is vital.”

She said the same could apply to energy security around “clean” energy like windmills and solar panels.

Security experts have criticized Ireland for spending far less on defense and security than other EU countries.

Yesterday Independent Senator Tom Clonan said the security of Europe’s communications infrastructure could be vulnerable to potential sabotage by Russia or other countries due to low patrol activity in our territorial waters.

When asked if Europe should be concerned about the security of such a telecoms infrastructure, Mrs Vestager replied

“Just because we had this incident doesn’t mean suddenly everything is unsafe,” she said. “It’s been a long time working to ensure we have the cyber security we need.”

Ms Vestager held talks with Taoiseach Micheal Martin today. She said they had not spoken about the commissioner’s €13 billion tax ruling on Apple, a decision which has been overturned by European courts and is currently being challenged.

Ms Vestager said global attitudes on issues such as the regulation of big tech companies and data protection have changed to follow Europe’s lead.

“When I first got to the US with the first legal case under my arm, it was, ‘Who is this crazy woman?'” she said. “It’s amazing how much the mood has changed in the eight years that I’ve been involved with technology.” Vestager says Ireland cannot be a ‘weak link’ to security after Nord Stream sabotage

Fry Electronics Team

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