Finnish Minister visits eu-LISA Headquarters

On 18 May the Finnish Minister of Local Government and Public Reform, Ms Anu Vehviläinen visited eu-LISA's headquarters in Tallinn. As public sector ICT issues in the Finnish Government are also part of her agenda there were plenty of topics to discuss. Ms Anna-Maija Karjalainen, Director General of the Ministry of Finance, and Mr Mika Mickelsson, First Secretary of the Embassy of Finland, were also part of the visiting delegation.

The delegation was introduced to the mandate and operations of the Agency and the three large-scale IT systems it manages. Further to that the role of the Agency within the larger scope of Justice and Home Affairs in the EU as well as its role in supporting the work of the Member States’ authorities were presented. New initiatives regarding the European asylum system, the Entry/Exit system and the current visions of interoperability and interconnectivity of systems, as per the Communication from the Commission on Stronger and Smarter Information Systems for Border Management and Internal Security and the Agency’s planned role in these initiatives, were also discussed.

The members of the Finnish delegation expressed particular interest in interoperability and governance of the existing and possible new systems to be developed. Biometrics and the Agency’s technical solutions as a part of the relevant systems were handled among the topics, as well as the lessons learnt from previous technical evolution of the systems. Attention was also paid to the need to review the legislative framework, and the time that it takes to generate new regulations, which directly effects the Agency’s possibilities to develop and operate additional systems in accordance with the Member States’ needs. Furthermore future insights, the physical location of eu-LISA and the division of tasks between the Tallinn headquarters and the Strasbourg operational site as well as its staff allocations were talked about.

The meeting was a part of the official state visit to Estonia by the President of Finland, Mr Sauli Niinistö.

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