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New Mandate For EU Network And Information Security Agency

The European Council and the European Parliament, with the help of the European Commission, have successfully concluded their negotiations on a new mandate for the European Union Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA).

On Friday, the member states' Permanent Representatives endorsed the compromise reached, thus paving the way for the adoption of the draft regulation at first reading. To enter into force, the text still needs to be formally approved by the Parliament, whose vote in plenary is expected to take place before the summer, the European Council said in a press release. The Council is due to take its decision after the vote in Parliament.

ENISA, whose current mandate will expire on September 13 this year, was set up in 2004 with the goal of ensuring a high level of network and information security across the EU. Since then, the challenges for the security of electronic communications have been continuously expanding, with increasing threats from cyber attacks.

The new regulation aims to strengthen and modernize the agency so as to enhance its efficiency. To this end, the revised mandate updates the agency's tasks, extending them and specifying them more clearly, including as regards interaction with the EU institutions and bodies and the member states. Moreover, ENISA's governing structure will be reinforced and its procedures streamlined.

ENISA's new mandate will cover a period of 7 years, with the possibility to extend the duration of the mandate of the agency if warranted by an assessment of its work.

The agency's tasks have been set out in more detail. They will also include support for capability building and, in particular, for the operation of computer emergency response teams. Furthermore, upon request by member states or EU bodies, ENISA may provide advice in the event of breach of security or loss of integrity.

It has been specified that a branch office has been established in Athens for operational business, besides the agency's seat in Heraklion, on the Greek island of Crete.

In addition to the management board, an executive board will be established, with a remit limited to the preparation of administrative and budgetary decisions to be taken by the management board.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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