The EU Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, visited eu-LISA's Operational Site in Strasbourg on 14 February 2022.
The main focus of the visit was the digitalisation of cross-border judicial cooperation in the EU. The Commissioner and the management of eu-LISA discussed a strategic approach and different aspects of the deployment of new digital solutions in modernising the judicial systems in the European Justice domain.
Commissioner Reynders emphasised that the digitalisation of Justice will be a long but much needed process. It will comprise not only the necessity to speed-up digitalisation at national levels but also the need to invest in development of new tools and projects at the EU level. eu-LISA will play a crucial role, not only through the implementation of ongoing projects, but also in other current initiatives such as the Join Investigation Teams Collaboration Platform and future ones that should be part of an ambitious roadmap for the digitalisation of Justice.
"Europe is aiming for easy access to cross-border justice for citizens, businesses and legal practitioners. eu-LISA has a central role to play in this process and is already actively engaged with ongoing efforts towards the further digitalisation of the European Justice area. We are responsible for the technical maintenance of the ECRIS RI, are currently developing ECRIS-TCN and will also be taking over the maintenance of e-CODEX from mid-2023. These applications and systems are important building blocks that provide for a solid foundation in the context of the digitalisation of criminal justice", said eu-LISA Executive Director Krum Garkov.
The Executive Director reconfirmed the Agency's readiness to continue close cooperation with the Commission to ensure a timely implementation of ongoing initiatives. Mr Garkov emphasised the need to have a comprehensive multi-annual roadmap for the digitalisation of Justice that connects all its building blocks and allows all stakeholders, including the European Commission, eu-LISA and Member States, to plan ahead.
In 2020, the Agency took over the operational management of the ECRIS Reference Implementation (RI), marking the first milestone in the development of ECRIS-TCN, a new, centralised, hit/ no-hit large-scale IT system to supplement the existing EU criminal records database (ECRIS) on non-EU nationals (TCNs, third-country nationals) convicted in the European Union. Further to that, in June 2021, the Council of the EU approved a general approach on the EU regulation that foresees the long-term operational management of e-CODEX being given to eu-LISA. e-CODEX (e-Justice Communication via Online Data Exchange) offers a digital, decentralised infrastructure for secure communication between national systems, facilitating how users (judicial authorities, legal practitioners and citizens) send and receive documents, legal forms and evidence.
More recently, on 1 December 2021, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal for a Regulation establishing a collaboration platform to support the functioning of Joint Investigation Teams (JITs) (COM (2021) 756 final). The general objective of the proposal is to provide technological support to those involved in JITs to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their cross-border investigations and prosecutions. According to the Commission proposal, the JITs platform design, development, technical management, and maintenance should be entrusted to eu-LISA.
The European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (eu-LISA), was established in 2011 as a long-term solution to the management of large-scale information systems in the area of freedom, security and justice, that became operational de facto in 2012. Today, it is at the forefront of Europe's information-driven border management and internal security, providing the expertise needed to manage and develop JHA large-scale IT systems and their respective communication infrastructure, on a 24/7 basis. The headquarters of eu-LISA are in Tallinn (Estonia), operational management is carried out in Strasbourg (France) and a backup site is located in Sankt Johann im Pongau (Austria). The Agency also has a liaison office in Brussels (Belgium).
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