eu-LISA's Digital Newsletter

The eu-LISA Bits & Bytes provides an overview of the Agency's recent progress and the state-of-play on the development and management of the large-scale IT systems that govern the Schengen Area's internal security.

In this issue:

… and more.

Past & future editions




Large-Scale IT Systems – Evolution and Outlook

2023 started out strong for eu-LISA, with the successful delivery of the latest Schengen Information System (SIS) upgrade and the beginning of the takeover process for e-CODEX (e-Justice Communication via Online Data Exchange).

Read in detail about the most widely used IT system in the Justice and Home Affairs domain: SIS


In the second part of January 2023, eu-LISA hosted the first meetings of the dedicated e-CODEX Advisory Group and e-CODEX Programme Management Board, as well as the kick-off meeting for the actual handover from the e-CODEX consortium (comprised of several EU Member States, including Germany, Netherlands, Austria, France, Spain), thus taking the first steps towards the takeover of what is considered the flagship project of EU justice.


Learn more about e-CODEX's...

In May 2023, the European Parliament published Regulation 2023/969, with the overall aim of enhancing cooperation between national and international law enforcement and judicial authorities to combat cross-border crime. More specifically, the regulation, which amends and expands eu-LISA's mandate as defined in Regulation 2018/1276, foresees establishing a Collaboration Platform (CP) to support the functioning of Joint Investigation Teams (JITs).

Thus, eu-LISA adds a new system to its portfolio, being entrusted with designing, developing, operating and maintaining the JITs CP. The platform should complement existing tools that allow for the secure exchange of data among judicial and law enforcement authorities, such as the Secure Information Exchange Network Application (SIENA), managed by our sister agency Europol.


The Agency also managed to successfully overcome the deadlock concerning the Entry/Exit System (EES), that underpins the implementation of Interoperability, an ambitious project which paves the way to one of the most advanced border management systems in the world.

In June 2023, eu-LISA Executive Director Agnès Diallo briefed the EU Member States Home Affairs Ministers on the state of play of the Interoperability roadmap at the Justice and Home Affairs Council that took place in Luxembourg. She reaffirmed the Agency's commitment to achieving the technical readiness of the systems. A revised timeline should be presented at the next JHA Council scheduled in October 2023.


The expected high level of performance and availability for SIS, VIS, Eurodac and their sub-systems remained unchanged in the first half of 2023.


For an overview on how all these IT systems help us ensure #ASaferEurope, consult our informational portal:

Discover eu-LISA




Upgraded SIS Successfully Deployed

27 years after its launch in 1995, SIS (or the Schengen Information System) received its latest major upgrade on 7 March 2023. The most widely used IT system for security and border management in Europe now has new categories of alerts and improved biometrics.


What is SIS?

SIS is a large-scale IT system which supports the exchange of information on persons of interest and objects among national police, border control, customs, visa and judicial authorities of the Schengen Area. Since the area has no internal borders, SIS assists national authorities in sharing information with their European counterparts whilst performing border checks and fighting cross-border crime and terrorism.

SIS is operated by eu-LISA since 2013.


How does it work?

SIS holds information in the form of alerts. Each alert on a person of interest can contain biographical information such as name, date of birth, gender and nationality. SIS can also store fingerprints and photographs of the person an alert is related to. Member State authorities query (or search) the system to see if they get a hit matching any of the alerts stored in the system. The largest categories of alerts are related to (official) issued documents and vehicles (registration documents, license plates or the vehicles themselves).


What upgrades did SIS receive?

The SIS reform package introduced technical and operational improvements to the system (such as the introduction of additional categories of alerts and the expansion of the list of objects for which alerts can be issued) in order to further strengthen the operational effectiveness and efficiency of SIS.

  • Information sharing: SIS will have new categories of alerts, ensuring more reliable information is available to Member States;
  • Biometrics: SIS will contain palm prints, fingerprints, facial images and DNA samples;
  • Counter-terrorism: More information will be shared on persons and objects involved in terrorism-related activities;
  • Vulnerable persons: Preventive alerts to protect missing persons, children at risk of abduction, potential victims of trafficking or gender-based violence;
  • Irregular migration: Return decisions and entry bans will be shared to enhance their effective enforcement;
  • Enhanced access for EU Agencies: Europol will have access to all alert categories, while Frontex operational teams will be able to access SIS to carry out their tasks at hotspots.

More details in the press release.


Discover 10 key facts about SIS and the system's timeline in the dedicated SIS leaflet:


SIS at a glance, at end-2022:

12.7B

searches

263K

hits on foreign alerts

87M

alerts stored

Read more:

Factsheet
   and    Report

More Key Events

eu-LISA Recognised by the City of Tallinn

eu-LISA's flagship events in 2022, marking the Agency's 10th anniversary - the Annual Conference and Industry Roundtable -, won the Conference Award Prize from the City of Tallinn and the Estonian Convention Bureau.

 

Photos by E.R. & I.V.

eu-LISA at CloudFest 2023

eu-LISA attended CloudFest, a yearly event held in Germany, attracting global IT companies and thousands of visitors, so as to further expand the Agency's visibility as an attractive employer.

Our exhibition booth offered visitors the chance to learn about the Agency, its vacancies, upcoming events, public tenders and other specific topics. Our Head of Planning and Standards Unit, Maria Bouligaraki, and Head of Talent Management Sector, Alexandros Anastasiadis, delivered a keynote speech about how we keep Europe open and safe with technology and the right talent.

During the three-day event, we learned that not only IT professionals, but also students are interested in finding out more about our Agency’s work and employment opportunities.

CloudFest 2023 attracted approximately 11,000 visitors, double compared to previous years.

 

eu-LISA and Europe Day 2023

eu-LISA marked Europe Day with both online and offline activities, setting up a stand in Tallinn's city centre, participating in a 'knowledge hunt' aimed at students, as well as attending GreenFest and the European of the Year award ceremony.

In addition, the Agency implemented a special online communication campaign, with content for the corporate website, social media channels, as well as internal communication channels.

Photos by L.V.

 

Photos by S.P. & I.V.

eu-LISA Bike Day

In an effort to help make our EU a bit greener, we held our first cross-site Bike2Work Day event in June. Many colleagues from Tallinn, Strasbourg and Brussels left their cars at home and cycled to work.

In France, eu-LISA won, for the second year in a row, first place in the Au boulot à vélo challenge ("Bike to Work"), organised by the City of Strasbourg.

Lots of pedalling, lots of exercise, less traffic and healthier employees!

Happenings

  • Nov 23-24

    eu-LISA Industry Roundtable - Digitalisation of Justice: technological solutions to improve access to justice

    Over the past 20 years, the European Commission, together with Member States and other key stakeholders, have made significant strides towards the development of e-Justice on both legislative and operational levels. The tools of today help ensure, for example, secure digital communication in judicial cooperation procedures and provide easy access to legal information and national registers for citizens and businesses across Europe. However, not all areas that could benefit from the use digital technologies have adopted them.

    The Industry Roundtable, which will take place in a hybrid format (with around 120 participants expected in Madrid, Spain, plus the online audience), will focus on digital technologies that facilitate access to justice (secure videoconferencing tools; digital evidence platforms; alternative dispute resolution tools), opportunities and challenges for the use of artificial intelligence in the justice domain, and practical solutions for advancing the digitalisation of cross-border judicial cooperation.

  • Sep 18-20

    eu-LISA R&D co-organising the 2023 EAB Research Projects Conference

    eu-LISA will be working together with the European Association for Biometrics (EAB) and DG HOME's F2 Unit for Innovation and Security Research to co-organise the 10th edition of the EAB Research Projects Conference – a yearly event that offers a dissemination platform to showcase the results of EU-funded projects in the fields of security, border management and ID management.

    Participants will be able to interact with new prototypes in the demo sessions of the conference and also discuss on the latest trends and challenges offered by biometric technologies with experts from eu-LISA, Europol, Frontex, the European Commission, as well as the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

  • Jul 25

    Cyprus fully integrated into SIS

    National authorities in Cyprus issued their first alerts in the Schengen Information System, marking a significant landmark for eu-LISA and the European Union, as SIS becomes another large-scale IT system that is used by all EU Member States and Schengen Associated Countries.

    Read more

  • Jun 26-30

    eu-LISA Hosts ISO Biometrics Experts Meeting in Tallinn

    eu-LISA hosted a standardisation meeting of the ISO subcommittee on biometrics at the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences in Tallinn. The event brought together more than one hundred experts.

    Read more

  • Jun 27

    eu-LISA Internship Webinar

    eu-LISA organised an online information session on internship opportunities for students and graduates.

    Read more

  • Jun 14-15

    eu-LISA Management Board Held in Tallinn

    During the two-day meeting, the Management Board, eu-LISA's highest governing body, discussed the Agency's Consolidated Annual Activity Report for 2022 and adopted an opinion on the Final Accounts for the same year.

    Read more

  • Jun 1-2

    eu-LISA Industry Roundtable: Ensuring Cyber-Resilience of EU IT Systems against Emerging Threats

    Read more

  • May 29

    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – Respected Values in eu-LISA

    The month of May marks the European Diversity Month. eu-LISA has adopted the EUAN’s Charter on diversity and inclusion to reaffirm the Agency’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

    Read more

  • Apr 6

    EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies' Contribution to EU Solidarity with Ukraine

    The nine JHA Agencies have published a Joint Paper on the work performed by the Agencies since the beginning of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.

    Read more

  • Apr 3

    Estonian IT Development Centre Delegation Visits eu-LISA

    A delegation of the IT Development Centre of the Estonian Ministry of the Interior (SMIT), led by the newly appointed General Director Mart Nielsen, visited eu-LISA's Headquarters in Tallinn.

    Read more

  • Mar 29

    The EUROFRONT Programme Visits eu-LISA in Strasbourg

    eu-LISA had the pleasure of receiving a visiting delegation from the International Italo-Latin American Organisation, as part of the EUROFRONT Programme, a European Union funded programme aimed at strengthening integrated border management in Latin America.

    Read more

  • Mar 21-23

    eu-LISA at CloudFest 2023

    Read more

  • Mar 22

    EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies Present 2022 Results

    The technical support provided to Member States and EU institutions in responding to Russia's military aggression against Ukraine was a central part of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies Network's activities.

    Read more

  • Mar 16

    Agnès Diallo Takes Office as Executive Director of eu-LISA

    Ms Diallo has over 20 years of experience, supporting government level institutions and private sector organisations in France and across Europe on their most pressing operational and technological challenges.

    Read more

  • Mar 7

    Enhanced SIS Successfully Launched

    Read more

  • Feb 21

    eu-LISA Receives a Certificate of Excellence from City of Tallinn

    Read more

  • Jan 17-18

    eu-LISA Prepares for the Takeover of e-CODEX

    eu-LISA takes its first steps towards taking over the operational management of cross-border judicial tool e-CODEX, by organising the first meeting of the e-CODEX specific Advisory Group on 17 January 2023, and the first meeting of the e-CODEX Programme Management Board the following day.

    Read more

  • Jan 13

    eu-LISA Management Board Appoints the Agency's New Executive Director

    The main items on the meeting's agenda included the appointment of the new Executive Director of the Agency.

    Read more

  • Jan 5

    eu-LISA Welcomes the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU

    The Swedish Presidency continues the implementation of the Trio Programme launched under the French Presidency in the beginning of 2022.

    Read more

eu-LISA - The Digital Heart of Schengen

The European Union Agency eu-LISA became operational in 2012 to manage large-scale information systems in the area of freedom, security and justice. Today, we are at the forefront of Europe's information-driven border management and internal security, facilitating the implementation of one of EU citizens' fundamental rights - the right to free movement within the Schengen Area.

The headquarters of eu-LISA are in Tallinn, Estonia, whilst its operational centre is in Strasbourg, France. There is also a technical business continuity site for the systems under management based in Sankt Johann im Pongau, Austria, and a Liaison Office in Brussels, Belgium.

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