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Formal Meeting of the SIS-Tech Working Party

In Ljubljana, a formal meeting of the SIS-Tech Working Party chaired by Andrej Bračko, Head of the Information and Telecommunication Office of the General Police Directorate of the Republic of Slovenia, was held from 19 to 21 May 2008.

The meeting was attended by approximately 70 delegates and experts from the EU Member States, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, the General Secretariat of the EU Council, the European Commission and representatives of the Centre of the Schengen Information System (C.SIS) in Strasbourg. The working party deals mainly with operational and technical issues associated with the functioning of SIS. It meets once a month in Brussels and each country holding the EU Council Presidency organises one meeting on its territory during its six-month term of office.

At this meeting, participants discussed the project for the development of the new second-generation SIS (SIS II) and the performance of global testing. They also talked about the migration of the existing SIS 1+ communication network to a new network. The main task of the technical working party is to monitor the functioning of SIS and provide a timely response to any events which might jeopardise the normal functioning of the system. This means prompt elimination of any potential problems as well as timely planning and implementation of SIS upgrades.

SIS is used by 24 countries - 22 EU Member States plus Iceland and Norway. Europol and Eurojust are also allowed to consult SIS. As the system is mainly intended to be used in border control, standards for availability, reliability and responsiveness are set extremely high. SIS is based on a central database and on national data bases, which are identical copies of the central database. For communication purposes, a special communication network (SISNET) is used. Data are continually synchronised between the central and the national databases. One of the tasks of the SIS-Tech Working Party is also periodical examination of the data content. 

One special challenge for the Working Party is the successful implementation of the SIS II Project under the auspices of the European Commission. This is a new generation of SIS, which is expected to provide several new functional features. The Working Party is primarily occupied with the issues of testing and migration. By means of testing, the Party wishes to ensure the required reliability and responsiveness of SIS II. As regards migration, the greatest challenge is how to ensure the transition from the existing to the new system with as few problems as possible for its users.


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Date: 21.05.2008