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New Executive Director at EU ‘cyber security’ Agency ENISA: Helmbrecht at the helm


16 Oct 2009


Justice & Home Affairs

The EU’s ‘cyber security’ Agency ENISA [i.e. the European Network and Information Security Agency] has a new Executive Director as of 16th October; Dr Udo Helmbrecht. Dr Helmbrecht is the former President of the German IT Security Agency BSI, [the Federal Office for Information Security.]

Dr Helmbrecht clarifies his visions for the Agency as its new Executive Director:

“I am very pleased, privileged and humbled to have gained the Management Board’s trust to become the Executive Director of ENISA. I proudly and readily assume this position, working for Europe. Before I worked for the improvement of the IT security in Germany; now I want to contribute to a secure information Society in Europe. It will be a bit of “changing hats” for me. As such, this is a tremendously stimulating step in my career. Yet, I deem my experience as head of a national security authority should be of added value for Europe and ENISA.

I will strive to help the Agency to work more closely, hand-in-hand, with the European Institutions, trustfully and actively together with the Member States and to promote cooperation between governments, businesses and NGOs to the benefit of citizens in the European Union. That way, we should increase the appreciation of ENISA as a brand for trust and security.

I will work towards a permanent mandate for ENISA-beyond the present 2012 ‘sun-set’ clause. The clear and permanent mandate is necessary to manage the increasing, fundamental role of security for economic and financial matters; for business and consumers alike. Ultimately, the economy of Europe is at stake if we do not manage security matters properly and adequately. At the same time, we should promote the benefits of security to the citizens, so they gain trust in the advantages of information and communication technology to safely enjoy life in cyber space.

I am firmly convinced that Europe needs more cooperation and dialogue with all security stakeholders. ENISA’s role in this is clear: Europe and its institutions need an independent body to give expert advice in security matters. The Agency must become a stronger and even more respected actor, working as a political advisory body and ‘pacemaker’ for the European Commission and the European Parliament. As such, the Agency’s advice should have a lasting impact on the laws and regulation of the Commission and the Member States.

There are many daunting security challenges ahead of us. But I am certain that with the support of the skilled ENISA staff and the Member States we will do it. We will make the digital, online Europe a safer place. Working together; ‘the whole is more than the sum of its parts'; which is the essence of Europe.” Dr Helmbrecht concludes.

Dr Udo Helmbrecht was born in 1955, Castrop-Rauxel, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. He has more than 30 years of professional, management experience in the IT sector. His experience has been gained in various sectors of society. This includes e.g. energy industry, insurance company engineering, aviation, defence, and space industry, before becoming President of BSI in 2005. Now, in 2009, new European security challenges await at ENISA.

At the same time, Michael Hange in ENISA’s Management Board and former Deputy Head at BSI becomes the new President of BSI, replacing Dr Helmbrecht.

Background documents: Curriculum Vitae of Dr Helmbrecht.
Dr Helmbrecht’s presentation to the Management Board, 3 April 2009, PPT, and MB-Slides Text Dr Helmbrecht’s speech to the ITRE committee on 16 April, 2009 (in German only)
For interviews arrangements with Dr Helmbrecht please contact:

Ulf Bergstrom, Press & Communications Officer ENISA,, Mobile: +30 6948 460143


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