On Tuesday, the European Parliament voted to extend the mandate of the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) by 7 years.
626 members of the European Parliament voted in favor and 45 against the new regulation.
“Today's vote offers a new start for a new ENISA: with expanded tasks, a more agile and efficient organization and governance. This will help secure European networks and information systems, in line with our cybersecurity strategy,” European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes said.
The regulation aims at strengthening the agency to allow it to better handle cyber security challenges. This new mandate also means that the financial and human resources allocated to ENISA will be increased.
“We welcome this important step of the political process, where the European Parliament in plenary has given its full endorsement and support for strengthening ENISA, enabling its work more intensively on prevention and preparedness in the field of cyber security,” ENISA’s Executive Director, Professor Udo Helmbrecht, noted.
“In light of the political reality, with cyber security ever higher up on the political agenda, this strong acknowledgement of our work is a very important step.”
ENISA started its operations in Crete, Greece, back in 2005. Now, a new “branch office” will be established in Athens.
The recently proposed EU Cybersecurity Strategy and NIS Directive appoints ENISA as having a key role in establishing network and information security (NIS) standards, and in ensuring cybersecurity.
“With this new mandate, ENISA is able to fully support the EU’s Cyber Security Strategy, envisaging a reinforced role for ENISA, with the intention to increase resources to help protect Europe’s digital society and economy,” Helmbrecht added.
“The Strategy is also providing ENISA with a framework for working more closely with and providing its expertise to other EU bodies, like Europol, who are operationally responsible for cyber-crime, and the European External Action Service, regarding cyber security at a global level.”