Bulgaria and Romania Gain Read-only Access to VIS and Romania Gain Read-only Access to VIS27/07/2021 10:15:00<p style="text-align:justify;">As of 26 July 2021, Bulgaria and Romania have been successfully connected to the <a href="">Visa Information System</a> (VIS) for passive (read-only) access, allowing them to view visa applications and access e-mail services, allowing for smoother visa processing.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">VIS is one of many large-scale IT managed by eu-LISA in its mission of safeguarding the Europe's internal security. VIS facilitates the exchange of visa data between Schengen States, allowing national authorities to enter and consult data, including biometrics, for short-stay visas in the Schengen Area, with the aim of combating "visa shopping" and irregular migration.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">At the moment, Bulgaria and Romania are not part of the Schengen Area, however having read-only access to VIS will support them in the implementation and usage of <a href="">EES</a>, the Entry/Exit System, another large-scale IT system that will record entry and exit of third country national to and from the Schengen Area in order to increase automation at border checkpoints and to prevent irregular migration. EES, expected to enter operations in the first half of 2022, will also mean digitalising the current practice of manual passports stamping.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The integration comes after both countries successfully completed a series of technical tests required to connect to the system. The project, managed by eu-LISA and covering design, development and testing of the passive mode at central and national level, kicked off in 2019. Bulgaria and Romania will be able to see the visa history of an applicant and to verify the validity and authenticity of Schengen visas issued by other Member States against the data stored in VIS, helping prevent fraud and fight serious crime and terrorism.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Full access to the Visa Information System would become possible once Bulgaria and Romania would be fully integrated within the Schengen area. The <a href="">European Commission</a> has reiterated its call on the <a href="">European Council</a> to take the necessary steps for Bulgaria and Romania to become part of the single area without internal borders controls in the new <a href="">Schengen Strategy</a> presented in June this year. Croatia, another EU Member State that is not yet part of the Schengen Area, is currently in the testing phase and is expected to gain passive access to VIS in 2022.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> <strong><br></strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> <strong>Further Reading</strong></p><ul><li> <a href="">VIS</a> – eu-LISA website</li><li> <a href="">VIS</a> – Discover eu-LISA Portal</li><li> <a href="">VIS Leaflet</a></li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;"> <strong> </strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> <strong>Map of VIS Users</strong></p><div><ul class="lightbox-gallery"><li> <a class="lightbox" href="#map"> <div class="lightbox-img-bg"> <img src="/Newsroom/News/PublishingImages/20210727.jpg" alt="" /> </div> </a> </li></ul><div class="lightbox-target" id="map"> <img src="/Newsroom/News/PublishingImages/20210727.jpg" alt="" /> <a class="lightbox-close" title="Close" href="#">×</a> </div></div><br>
Discussing Digitalisation and AI with Europe’s Justice Ministers’s-Justice-Ministers.aspxDiscussing Digitalisation and AI with Europe’s Justice Ministers16/07/2021 16:00:00<p>​eu-LISA's expanding role in the digital transformation of the European justice landscape has brought with it opportunities for the Agency to partake in topical meetings and fora that aim to shape future developments in the aforementioned field. The Agency's Executive Director, <strong>Krum GARKOV</strong>, and its Deputy Executive Director attended on 15-16 July, the Informal Justice and Home Affairs Ministers meeting organised by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in Slovenia. eu-LISA contributed to the discussions, addressing  crime in a digital age, how to implement the EU's new Pact on Migration & Asylum and the way forward with regard to the recently proposed revision of the Schengen Strategy. Contributions were also provided to the topics of Digital Inheritance and the implications the Commission's proposal for an Artificial Intelligence Act will have on the Justice domain.<br></p><p><em>"Though not the first time our top management attends a JHA Council meeting, it is eu-LISA's debut at the "Justice" dedicated sessions and we are very much looking forward to contributing to the discussions for the benefit of EU citizens,"</em> emphasised Mr Garkov.</p><p>The Agency's existing involvement and knowledge in using technology for cross-border digital solutions beneficial to Member States related to both security and more and more to justice cooperation, are recognised and requested. </p><p>Further to the justice-oriented European Criminal Record Information System – Third Country Nationals (ECRIS-TCN) that is currently in eu-LISA's portfolio of large-scale IT systems, in June 2021 the Council approved a general approach on the EU regulation that foresees the long-term operational management of e-CODEX being given to eu-LISA.</p><p>e-CODEX – which stands for "e-Justice Communication via Online Data Exchange" – offers a digital, decentralised infrastructure for secure communication between national systems, facilitating its users (judicial authorities, legal practitioners and citizens) to send and receive documents, legal forms and evidence.<br></p>
The JHA Ministers meeting of the Slovenian Presidency is underway JHA Ministers meeting of the Slovenian Presidency is underway15/07/2021 16:00:00<p>​Earlier today, eu-LISA's Executive Director Krum Garkov and Deputy Executive Director Luca Tagliaretti, attended the Informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers organised and hosted by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia.</p><p>Included on the meeting's agenda were topics such as the fight against crime in the digital age, ways forward with respect to the new Pact on Migration and Asylum, the revision of the Schengen Strategy and the impact the proposed Artificial Intelligence Regulation will have on law enforcement across the Member States and the work of the JHA Agencies.</p><p>eu-LISA's portfolio of large-scale IT systems, used throughout Europe in the fields of border management and internal security, as well as the additional systems (EES, ETIAS and ECRIS-TCN) in preparation, are fundamental to the digitalisation of the Justice and Home Affairs domain. These will act as cornerstones within the legislation currently being prepared and discussed at high-level meetings. The use of Interoperability and the integration of AI technologies into data analysis and management will provide European law enforcement with tools to stay abreast of the ever-growing threat from online criminality and cyber threats. It is evident to all parties involved that all proposed approaches and solutions must be geared primarily towards protecting fundamental rights, freedoms and civil liberties.</p><p>Attention was also drawn to the need, in the context of AI, to create European data spaces that could increase the efficiency of processing and collecting big volumes of data needed by competent authorities in their work on training AI systems, all within clearly established safeguards.</p><p>Tomorrow for the first time, given the Agency's growing role in the European Justice sphere, eu-LISA's top management will also take part in the foreseen justice-related sessions and discussions.<br></p>
Bonne Fête nationale! Fête nationale!14/07/2021 15:00:00<p>​<span style="background-color:rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">Tod</span><span style="background-color:rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">ay is July 14, France's National Day, commonly known as Bastille Day. France is of particular interest to eu-LISA and will always hold a special place in our heart. This is because our Operational site is in </span><strong style="background-color:rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">Strasbourg</strong><span style="background-color:rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);"> and hosts 200+ top IT experts from across Europe, dedicated to keeping Europe's largest Justice and Home Affairs IT systems up and running 24/7. These people make eu-LISA the digital backbone of the Schengen Area!</span></p><p>Further to SIS, VIS and Eurodac, said systems include the ongoing development of Europe's Entry/Exit System (EES), the European Travel Information Authorisation System (ETIAS) and ECRIS-TCN. Information about the systems, their Interoperability, and other core activities at the Agency can be found at <a href=""></a>.</p><p>eu-LISA sees collaboration with its host countries as a vital part of its growth and integration. The Agency always looks forward to contributing to initiatives and being an appreciated member of the community. Strengthening relationships can only bring benefits to both parties.</p><p><span style="background-color:rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);"> </span></p><h2>The Agency's history with Strasbourg</h2><p>In 2013, eu-LISA was given the former "Centre du Système d'Information Schengen" by the French government, and has been running the Agency's large-scale IT systems from there ever since.</p><p>eu-LISA's new <a href="">Establishing Regulation</a>, and the enlarged mandate to improve existing and develop new information systems for security, border management and migration that it brought, highlighted the need for expansion on the local territory. In 2018, the mayor of Strasbourg confirmed that the city would transfer the neighbouring land to eu-LISA for a symbolic value. The transfer was <a href="/Newsroom/News/Pages/eu-LISA-to-extend-its-Strasbourg-site.aspx">formalised</a> in the second half of 2020, and a site extension is underway.<br></p>