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European Atomic Energy Community — information security gradings and measures

European Atomic Energy Community — information security gradings and measures

 

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (Euratom) No 3 implementing Article 24 of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION?

  • The regulation sets out security gradings and security measures to protect Euratom Classified Information (ECI) covered by Articles 24 and 25 of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Community (Euratom). ECI may include reports, data, documents, objects and reproducing media.
  • Article 24 of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Community refers to information from the EU nuclear research programme, which could harm EU-countries’ defence interests if disclosed. Article 25 of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Community similarly refers to information on patents and utility models*.

KEY POINTS

Security measures and instructions on how to apply them are issued by:

  • EU institutions, committees, services and installations;
  • EU countries and their authorities;
  • Joint undertakings;
  • Individuals and undertakings.

A Security Bureau is set up by the European Commission to:

  • coordinate and ensure the general application of security measures;
  • supervise how the measures are applied in EU institutions, committees, services and installations;
  • verify that the measures are applied by EU countries;
  • put forward amendments to the regulation where necessary.

A Security Officer is appointed In every EU institution, committee or service of the EU where ECI is prepared or kept, responsible for

  • registering ECI;
  • keeping a list of persons entitled to have access to ECI;
  • instructing employees in their security duties;
  • ensuring that the physical security measures are applied.

Gradings, authorisation and screening

  • ECI security gradings are determined depending on the degree of harm unauthorised disclosure would cause to the defence interests of EU countries:
    • Eura — Top Secret: disclosure would have extremely serious consequences for defence interests;
    • Eura — Secret: disclosure would have serious consequences for defence interests;
    • Eura — Confidential: disclosure would be harmful to defence interests;
    • Eura — Restricted: disclosure would affect defence interests but would require less security than documents classified Eura — Confidential.
  • References to documents or data designated Eura — Secret and Eura — Top Secret should be kept to a minimum and should not disclose their contents or security gradings.
  • Access to ECI (except Eura — Restricted) is granted only to authorised persons who have a clear need to receive such information. Authorisation may be granted after a screening process by the Security Bureau or by EU countries.

Physical protection of ECI

  • ECI graded Eura — Top Secret, Eura — Secret, and Eura — Confidential must be stamped on each page;
  • Copies of ECI must be limited to immediate and essential requirements;
  • Copies of ECI graded Eura — Top Secret are made only with the consent of the Security Bureau and, in the case of patent information, with the consent of the EU country of origin;
  • Buildings housing ECI graded Eura — Confidential and above must be secure, with employees and visitors positively identified;
  • Visitors must not be left unaccompanied in premises containing ECI;
  • Rules relating to reinforced security cabinets apply for different security gradings;
  • All ECI graded Eura — Top Secret and Eura — Secret must be specially registered;
  • Internal circulation of ECI must be in such a way as to prevent leaks;
  • ECI graded Eura — Confidential or higher sent outside a building must be placed in two envelopes, with only the inner bearing the security grading;
  • ECI graded Eura — Confidential or higher dispatched abroad must be sent by diplomatic bag, with Top Secret ECI in the custody of a courier accompanied by one other person. ECI graded Eura — Secret and Eura — Confidential dispatched abroad shall be sent by diplomatic bag;
  • Strict rules apply to authorising the secure destruction of any ECI no longer required.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It has applied since 15 November 1958.

BACKGROUND

See also:

KEY TERMS

Utility model: a registered right giving the holder exclusive use of a technical invention in exchange for public disclosure of the workings of the invention, and granted only for a limited period.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Council Regulation (Euratom) No 3 implementing Article 24 of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (OJ 17, 6.10.1958, pp. 406-416)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Consolidated version of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community — Title II — Provisions for the encouragement of progress in the field of nuclear energy — Chapter 2: Dissemination of information — Section 3: Security provisions — Article 24 (OJ C 203, 7.6.2016, pp. 15-16)

Consolidated version of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community — Title II — Provisions for the encouragement of progress in the field of nuclear energy — Chapter 2: Dissemination of information — Section 3: Security provisions — Article 25 (OJ C 203, 7.6.2016, p. 16-17)

last update 15.05.2020

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