Eu-LISA opens new headquarters in Tallinn

Opening of the new eu-LISA headquarters in Tallinn on Wednesday. 19 September 2018.
Opening of the new eu-LISA headquarters in Tallinn on Wednesday. 19 September 2018. Source: eu-LISA/Facebook

The European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA) on Wednesday inaugurated its new headquarters on Vesilennuki Street in Tallinn.

The European Parliament and European Council in 2011 decided to establish eu-LISA with headquarters in Tallinn. The Estonian government committed itself to build the headquarters building, which would be fit for the needs and requirements of an agency responsible for large-scale IT systems for European security and stability, eu-LISA said in a press release.

In the years since, eu-LISA received remarkable support from EU authorities and the Estonian government, allowing the agency to launch from temporary premises on Rävala Avenue and begin to deliver from day one. The contract for the construction of the agency's new headquarters building was signed in March 2017, and 16 months later, in July 2018, the Ministry of the Interior handed over the building to the agency.

"This building is a credit to all who have worked to bring it to completion," said Krum Garkov, executive director of eu-LISA. "It is a landmark for the city of Tallinn, and it provides eu-LISA with an impressive new home to pursue its mandate. Bbut it also stands as a powerful symbol of what European integration is about. So let us not undo what has been achieved. Let us draw on the past to unite us in the present — to build a complete Union that can deliver the stability and prosperity we need."

Eu-LISA, Garkov added, would do its part to ensure the smooth functioning of the Schengen area and enable adequate response to pertinent current and future challenges faced by the EU.

Anvelt: Agency important to internal EU security

Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt (SDE) stressed that the European IT agency has a very important role in maintaining the internal security of the EU.

"When ensuring internal security, we are moving increasingly toward digital solutions and cross-usage of data, and the headquarters of the IT agency in Tallinn is a pioneer in these fields," Anvelt said. "This means that pan-European IT knowhow is increasingly concentrated in Tallinn."

The agency's new 4,400 sq m headquarters, which was completed at a total cost of €8.8 million exclusive of tax, will provide workplaces for approximately 100 personnel.

Headquartered in Tallinn, eu-LISA's operational centre is located in Strasbourg, France, with a business continuity site for the systems under management based in St. Johann im Pongau, Austria and a liaison office in Brussels.

eu-LISA was established to manage large-scale information systems in the area of freedom, security and justice. It currently manages three large-scale systems, namely Eurodac, the Schengen Information System (SIS) and the Visa Information System (VIS). The agency supports the implementation of the EU's border management, migration and internal security policies.

In the coming years, the agency is foreseen to develop technical solutions to bring the systems towards interoperability. This means that authorised users such as police officers, migration officials and border guards will have faster, seamless and more systematic access to the information they need to do their jobs. eu-LISA is to develop and subsequently manage several new systems, including the European Entry Exit System (EES), the European Travel Information Authorisation System (ETIAS), and the European Criminal Records Information System on third country nationals (ECRIS-TCN)

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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