IT agency for the area of freedom, security and justice
This communication provides an overview of the proposed legislative package for establishing an agency to develop and manage the operations of large-scale information technology (IT) systems in the area of freedom, security and justice.
Communication from the Commission of 24 June 2009 – Legislative package establishing an Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice [COM(2009) 292 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The communication presents the legislative package that aims to establish an agency for managing the operations of large-scale information technology (IT) systems in the area of freedom, security and justice. The IT systems for which the agency would be responsible consist of the:
- second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II);
- Visa Information System (VIS);
- Eurodac system.
The agency could also be given responsibility for managing other large-scale IT systems in this field.
The Commission is currently developing the SIS II and the VIS. It will be responsible for their operational management during a transitional period before the agency would take up its responsibilities. The Commission developed the Eurodac system and is responsible for operating its central unit as well as for ensuring the security of data transfers.
In the long term, the most cost-effective solution for managing the above three IT systems would be a regulatory agency. The agency would be able to gradually build expertise and know-how in large-scale IT systems, therefore having the potential to become a centre of excellence for IT management of systems in the area of freedom, security and justice.
The main task of the agency would consist of the operational management of these systems in order to keep them functioning 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, the tasks of the agency would include:
- adopting security measures;
- reporting and publishing;
- organising specific trainings.
The agency's governance structure and voting rules should reflect the existing variable geometry (European Union (EU) countries with different levels of participation in the information systems). The countries associated with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis and the Eurodac related measures would also participate in the agency.
The legislative package
At the time of adoption of the package in June 2009, different legal instruments were needed to establish the agency due to the cross-pillar nature of these IT systems. The first-pillar aspects of SIS II and VIS, as well as the Eurodac system were to be governed by a regulation, whilst the third pillar aspects of SIS II and VIS were to be governed by a decision.
Consequently, the legislative package consisted of proposals for a:
- Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (which describes the agency’s structure, tasks and voting procedures);
- Council Decision conferring upon the Agency established by Regulation XX tasks regarding the operational management of SIS II and VIS in application of Title VI of the EU Treaty.
Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, the former pillar structure disappeared. Consequently, a single amended proposal [COM(2010) 93 final] was adopted on 19 March 2010 to take into account the changes brought about by the new treaty and to take over the substantive provisions of the above mentioned proposal for a Council decision.