The European Commission's seventh progress report on the headway made towards an effective and genuine Security Union, launched on 16 May, focuses on the ongoing work to improve information management for borders and security. Further to this, it sets out the Commission's new approach towards achieving the interoperability of EU information systems for security, border and migration management by 2020. The proposed approach would overcome the current weakness in the EU's data management architecture eliminating blind spots.
The EU Agency responsible for information system management, eu-LISA, would play a crucial role in providing technical expertise and bringing the work towards the interoperability of information systems forward. In order to allow eu-LISA to implement this new approach, the Commission will present a legislative proposal to strengthen the Agency's mandate in June 2017.
Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris
"The value of our security information is maximised when our systems talk to each other. The complex and fragmented systems we have today make us vulnerable. Actionable information is not always available for the law enforcement officials that need it. Today, we present a clear vision on how to act to correct this. To connect the dots and to eliminate blind spots to step up the security of our citizens across the EU."
Commissioner for the Security Union Julian
King said: "The recent tragic attacks in Europe have highlighted the importance of effective information sharing between Member State authorities. The approach we are outlining today sets out a targeted and intelligent way of using the existing data to best effect. What we propose would be a step-change in the way we manage data for security, helping national authorities better addressing transnational threats and detecting terrorists who act across borders."
According to the Executive Director of eu-LISA
Krum Garkov eu-LISA has the knowledge and readiness to provide its expertise and fully contribute to achieving the objectives set out in the approach.
In April 2016, the Commission presented a Communication on stronger and smarter information systems for borders and security and launched the work of the High-Level Expert Group on Information Systems and Interoperability. The High-Level Expert Group delivered its final report on 11 May confirming the views expressed in the April 2016 Communication, and putting forward recommendations towards the interoperability of information systems. The seventh progress report of EC takes stock of the recommendations of the High-Level Expert Group, and proposes the way forward to address structural shortcomings under the three main areas:
maximising the utility of existing information systems;
where necessary, developing complementary systems to close information gaps; and
ensuring interoperability between our systems.
For More Information
Full text of the EC Press Release
7th Progress Report on Security Union
Stronger and smarter information systems for borders and security
Delivering on the European Agenda on Security to fight against terrorism and pave the way towards an effective and genuine Security Union
European Agenda on Security
EU Information Systems
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On 10 May eu-LISA was hosted by the European Parliament in Brussels in order to attend a meeting with the MEPs of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE Committee) to discuss the Agency's priorities and main activities for 2017.
Krum Garkov, eu-LISA's Executive Director, highlighted the Agency's core mission and reiterated our continued technological support to the Member States in their efforts to ensure a safer Europe. In this respect, the Agency will continue to make important contributions to Europe's work to meet the challenges related to migration crisis, terrorist threats and cross-border crime. Mr Garkov gave concrete examples to the Committee Members of how the use of the IT systems entrusted to eu-LISA could further enhance security in the Schengen Area.
Bernard Kirch, Head of Operations at eu-LISA, presented the state-of-play regarding the three main large-scale IT systems under the Agency's responsibility - Eurodac, SIS II and VIS whilst Mailis Pukonen, Head of GCU, gave a detailed explanation of some of the upcoming proposals in the Home Affairs area namely the VIS recast, the SIS II recast and the Dublin package. Following questions from committee members, she underlined the importance of the training the Agency provides and gave examples thereof. eu-LISA's Head of Resources and Administration Department, Krzysztof Czekalowski, illustrated with consolidated figures the evolution of the budget for 2016 and 2017 and its implementation. Budget matters related to EES and Eurodac proposals were also presented.
The LIBE Committee members showed particular interest in the topics of Entry/Exit System (EES), European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS TCN), the amendment of eu-LISA's establishing Regulation and the outcomes of the High Level Expert Group's work on Interoperability. Mr Garkov addressed these questions and received support for the Agency as well as congratulations on the work done and commitment to support the Agency's necessities from the MEPs.
Claude Moraes, Chairman of the LIBE Committee, closed the meeting by thanking the Agency for attending and encouraging further development of the relationship between the Agency and the European Parliament.
Eurodac, SIS II and VIS information leaflets
eu-LISA Programming Document 2017 2019