Though travel restrictions are being lifted and internal borders have reopened across the Schengen Area, video conferencing and online meetings are still the preferred way of running eu-LISA's governance body meetings. This method, now well-oiled after dozens of online events, is here to stay for the foreseeable future. In fact, on Tuesday 30th June, the Agency hosted the 23rd eu-LISA Management Board virtually with the assistance of our state of the art video conferencing equipment. Close to 60 participants from Member States, Associated Countries, the European Commission and fellow JHA Agencies joined the first ever online MB meeting.
Topics discussed and covered included progress reports from eu-LISA's Advisory Groups (AG) and Program Management Boards (PMB) for the systems in development, namely the Entry/Exit System, the European Travel Information Authorisation System and the European Criminal Records Information System – Third Country Nationals. The state of play of the existing systems, Eurodac, SIS and VIS were also presented by their respective Advisory Group representatives. Advancements made in the area of Interoperability of the systems was reported on and the related roadmap to standardisation was discussed.
On the agenda was the election of the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the Management Board. Both of the current representatives, Zsolt Szolnoki (Hungary) and Rene Vihalem (Estonia), were re-confirmed and will serve a further four years as Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson respectively.
eu-LISA's Executive Director, Krum Garkov, highlighted the effects of the COVID-19 crises on the Agencies activities and the development of the new systems. He also shared the report from the Interoperability Forum held at the end of May. Progress made in the implementation of the Annual Work Programme 2020 and changes introduced for the Programing Document 2020-2022 were also presented.
Last but not least, the Management addressed several administrative and governance matters brought to the table by the Agency.
Each online governance meeting gives eu-LISA a chance to improve on the previous and the overall opportunity to explore and integrate innovative new management methods into the expanding landscape of keeping Europe's citizens safe with ever-evolving large-scale IT systems.