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Inauguration of the new EU Agency for large-scale IT systems
A new agency for managing large-scale EU information systems has been inaugurated today in Tallinn, Estonia, with the attendance of Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. Its main task will be to ensure that the Visa Information (VIS) and EURODAC systems operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Agency is due to become fully operational as of December 2012.
The Commissioner will address representatives of the Member States, the Commission, EUROJUST and EUROPOL, as well as observers from associated countries prior to the inaugural Management Board meeting which will discuss key budgetary, financial, and organisational matters.
"The expectations are high and the tasks are many", said Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, "This Agency must quickly become the centre of excellence that we all want it to be; tracking the most promising technological developments, identifying ways of applying them and ensuring close cooperation with major stakeholders."
As of 2013, the agency will also manage the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II). In addition, it will be responsible for matters related to the security of these systems, certain tasks related to the communication infrastructure and various activities such as monitoring and reporting, statistics and training for national authorities.
A further key objective of the Agency, particularly relevant in the ongoing economic crisis, will be to pro-actively seek and deliver cost effective solutions across the full range of its operations.
After the start-up phase, the Agency will be able to gradually build expertise and know-how to eventually become a centre of excellence for the development and management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice, ensuring that the best available technologies and processes are used.
The Agency may also be invited to develop and manage other IT systems in this policy area in the future.
The Regulation establishing the Agency (Regulation 1077/2011) was adopted in October 2011.
Intensive preparations are ongoing to ensure that the necessary personnel, infrastructures and processes will be in place by 1 December 2012 when the Agency is due to become fully operational.
The IT Agency is not related to the proposals for a European Cybercrime Centre due to be presented by the Commission very shortly.
For more information
Homepage of Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs
Homepage DG Home Affairs:
Michele Cercone (+32 2 298 09 63)
Tove Ernst (+32 2 298 67 64)