The European Union has opened the doors on a new agency in charge of managing large database systems with an EU-wide scope.
The European Union's new IT Agency will be based in Tallinn, Estonia.
IT Agency, inaugurated on Thursday, will manage three of the biggest official databases in
Europe, largely dealing with travel and law enforcement information,
although there are loose plans to have it take on further tasks in
future. Based in Tallinn, Estonia, its full name is the 'European Agency for managing large-scale IT systems in the
area of freedom, security and justice'.
"The expectations are high, and the tasks are many," home affairs
commissioner Cecilia Malmström said in a statement on Wednesday. "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 co-operation with
The agency has begun work now, and the aim is for it to be fully up and running by December. It will begin by taking over the management of the Visa
Information System (VIS) and the EURODAC
fingerprint-comparison system, which is used to keep checks on
From next year, the IT Agency will also be in charge of running the
second-generation Schengen Information System (SIS II), which EU
member states use to share data on people and lost or stolen
Beyond 2013, the agency "may also be invited to develop and manage
other IT systems" in its core areas of "freedom, security and justice", the
Commission added, but did not specify the systems. The Stork project, which deals with cross-border authentication among other areas, is a possible candidate.
While the IT Agency itself is located in Tallinn, some of its
back-office operations will take place in Strasbourg, and there will
also be a back-up site in Sankt Johann im Pongau, an Austrian ski
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