European Union Agency for Network and Information Security

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European Network and Information Security Agency
Enisa logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed 13 March 2004 (2004-03-13)
Jurisdiction European Union
Headquarters Heraklion, Greece
Agency executives
  • Udo Helmbrecht, Executive Director
  • Jörgen Samuelsson, Chairperson of the Management Board
Key document

The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security - self-designation ENISA from the abbreviation of its original name - is an agency of the European Union. It is fully operational since September 1, 2005. It has its seat in Heraklion, Crete (Greece).

ENISA was created in 2004 by EU Regulation No 460/2004 under the name of European Network and Information Security Agency. The new basic regulation is EU Regulation No 526/2013 referencing it as the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA). The objective of ENISA is to improve network and information security in the European Union. The agency has to contribute to the development of a culture of network and information security for the benefit of the citizens, consumers, enterprises and public sector organisations of the European Union, and consequently will contribute to the smooth functioning of the EU Internal Market.

ENISA assists the Commission, the Member States and, consequently, the business community in meeting the requirements of network and information security, including present and future EU legislation. ENISA ultimately strives to serve as a centre of expertise for both Member States and EU Institutions to seek advice on matters related to network and information security.

ENISA supported 2010-, 2012- and Cyber Europe 2014 pan-European cybersecurity exercises.[1][2][3][4]


ENISA is managed by the Executive Director, and supported by a staff composed of experts representing stakeholders such as the information and communication technologies industry, consumer groups and academic experts. The agency is overseen by the Management Board, which is composed of representatives from the EU Member States, the EU Commission and other stakeholders. The Permanent Stakeholders Group was established by and gives advice to the Executive Director.

ENISA is alone among the 32 decentralized agencies of the European Union in not having an indefinite mandate.[5] The Agency had a budget of €32 million (in total for the years 2005 to 2009). In 2007, European Commissioner Viviane Reding proposed that ENISA be folded into a new European Electronic Communications Market Authority (EECMA).[6] By 2010, Commissioner Neelie Kroes signalled that the European Commission wanted a reinforced agency. The agency mandate was extended up to 2012 with an annual budget of €8 million, under the leadership of Dr. Udo Helmbrecht. The agency is up for review again in 2018.[7]

Presently 55 staff work at the agency. There are plans for additional experts to be integrated into the agency (in an "ENISA II" regulation) but the decision on the new organisation is not yet decided. ENISA headquarters, including its administration and support functions, are based in Heraklion. The choice of a rather remote site has been contentious from the outset, particularly since Greece held the EU presidency when the agency’s mandate was being negotiated.[8] In addition, the agency has had a liaison office in Athens since October 2009. In 2013, it moved one-third of its staff of then sixty from Crete to Athens.[9] In 2016, the Committee on Budgets backed ENISA’s bid to shut down the Heraklion office.[10]

Executive director[edit]

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