Europe, Back to the Future

Each September, the President of the European Commission delivers a State of the Union address (SOTEU) to the European Parliament, presenting the achievements of the past year and the priorities for the year ahead. The EU agencies' network, which includes eu-LISA, follows the event closely and promotes highlights as well as key take-aways. Look for the #SOTEU and #EUAgencies hashtags to discover more.

President Ursula von der Leyen delivered her 2021 State of the Union address on 15 September 2021. Notwithstanding the ongoing grip of COVID-19, Europe is looking confident that all EU Member States' output should be back to pre-pandemic levels by 2022.

Looking forward, the Commission devised three sets of targets for 2030:

  • Climate Law: cutting CO2 emissions by at least 55% (the overall goal is to make the EU climate neutral by 2050);
  • Europe Digital Decade: the full digitalisation of public services, so that e-health and all other key services will be available online; in addition, 80% of citizen are foreseen to use digital IDs and have basic digital skills;
  • Porto Social Summit: At least 78% of population aged 20-64 should be in employment, 60% of adults should participate in yearly training, as well as reducing the number of people at risk of poverty by a minimum of 15 million.

Of particular interest to eu-LISA and its stakeholders are the recent Pact on Migration and Asylum, Digitalisation and the new Strategy for a stronger and more resilient Schengen Area.

To ensure the effective management of the EU's external borders, increase law enforcement and judicial cooperation, and complete the enlargement of the Schengen Area, the Commission's strategy foresees fostering mutual trust in the common implementation.

eu-LISA's role in the new strategy is as important as ever. The Agency's mandate, tasks and duties span all of the strategy's key areas. The Schengen Information System (SIS), set up 25 years ago to support Member State law enforcement cooperation and compensate for the removal of internal border checks, the expansion of Eurodac, the reinforcement of VIS and the future rollout of new systems (EES, ETIAS and ECRIS-TCN), along with Interoperability between them all are vital to the strategy's success. The operational management of these, and the foreseen taking over of e-CODEX from the EU's Justice domain, put eu-LISA at the forefront of the European Digital transformation.

Eurodac, the European Asylum Dactyloscopy Database - collecting and handling the digitalised fingerprints of asylum seekers and irregular migrants -, is one of the focal points of the Pact on Migration and Asylum. The Agency will be responsible for transforming it into a new and modernised large-scale IT system. The new Eurodac will provide precise figures on how many applicants/ first-time applicants there are in the EU. Furthermore, there will be more accurate and complete data available, including information about the Member State responsible for each asylum claim, shifts of responsibility, a rejected application or a previously granted Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration.


Further Reading

European Institutions