On 19 December the Executive Director of eu-LISA Mr Krum GARKOV and the Estonian Minister of the Interior Mr Hanno Pevkur signed the Site Agreement between the Agency and the Estonian Government.
The Agreement, consisting of 25 articles outlining the rights and obligations of both signatories, commits to the construction of a new headquarters for the Agency in Tallinn and defines a number of rights for the Agency’s employees, in line with other agreements signed between established EU Agencies and their host states.
Mr Krum Garkov thanked the Minister for the conclusion of the Site Agreement, noting that its signature is a clear proof of the continued support of the Estonian authorities to the Agency.
Under the terms of the Agreement, Estonia has undertaken to build a head office with space for 100 employees for the Agency. The building will be available for eu-LISA to be used free of charge and the office should be ready by December 2017. The Estonian budget strategy 2014-2017 has assigned 8,4 million euros for this purpose.
The Agreement also defines the status and rights of the employees of the Agency. Thus, for example, the principle of privileges and immunities as per the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union will apply to the staff in the execution of their duties. Additionally, the staff of the Agency and members of their household are not subjected to immigration restrictions in Estonia.
The agreement was approved by the Management Board of the Agency on 17 December via written procedure and the signing took place in eu-LISA’s premises in Tallinn on 19 December.
eu-LISA has already signed Site Agreements with the government of France for the operational site in Strasbourg on 5 December 2013 and with the government of Austria on 27 May 2013 concerning the back-up site of the systems.