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The European Union has voted to set up a pan-European agency to promote closer co-ordination on information security.

The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) has been allocated a four year budget of €24.3 million. It's headquartered in Brussels and goes live in January, 2004.

Until now, there has been a lack of cross-border co-operation or information exchange between the EU Member States on information security. ENISA aims to plug these gaps by "acting as a centre of knowledge" and by supporting Member States in their efforts to improve security practices. The agency will also educate the public and business about security.

Establishment of ENISA follow a vote in favour of its creation in the European Parliament on Wednesday, confirmed by the support of Council yesterday. ®

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