New European Agency for Network and Information Security
The Industry Committee on Tuesday approved with amendments
a proposal to set up a European Network and Information Security
Agency for the purpose of helping
prevent problems such as computer crashes, IT network failures, viruses and
unauthorised interception of communications. The amendments, in a first-reading
report by Reino PAASILINNA (PES, FIN), focus on the tasks of the new agency,
the composition of the advisory and management boards and the initial evaluation
of the Agency’s work.
The broad objective of the Agency is to create
a common approach in Europe to network and information security,
assist in the
application of Community measures in this field and enhance the
of the EU and Member States to respond to problems. Its budget
is €24.3 million and for the first time the Commission is
proposing to set up an agency for a limited period (from 1 January
2004 to 31 December 2008). The proposal provides for the gradual
recruitment of staff, while the seat of the Agency is to be decided
at the latest six months after the regulation is adopted.
The Industry Committee states in its amendments that the new agency
should ensure that security solutions are easily accessible to
small and medium-sized companies. It should provide advice to the
Commission, Parliament, competent national and European bodies
and the business community. And it should invite tenders for research
in the area of network and information security.
The agency will be run by a management board,
made up of five representatives appointed by the Council, five
by the Commission,
two by the European Parliament as well as four industry and two
consumers' representatives. MEPs want the management board to
be approved, before 31 January each year, by both the Commission
the European Parliament. They add that the Agency’s advisory
board of nine experts should include representatives from industry,
consumer associations and the science and research sector in
the area of network and information security.
The committee also stresses that when the time comes, Parliament
and the Council should have a say in whether the Agency's life-span
is extended beyond 2008, rather than leaving this to the Commission.