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STESTA: Secure Trans European Services for Telematics between Administrations

TESTA
    The need for tight security may sometimes appear to clash with the need to exchange information effectively. However, STESTA offers an appropriate solution. It constitutes the European Community's own private network, isolated from the Internet and allows officials from different Ministries to communicate at a trans-European level (up to EU restricted) in a safe and prompt way.

Last update: November 2008

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What is STESTA?

Objectives

How does it work?

Achievements

Who benefits?

The role of STESTA in IDABC

The future of STESTA

Technical Information
Documentation


What is STESTA?

STESTA is the European Community's own private, IP-based network. STESTA offers a telecommunications interconnection platform that responds to the growing need for secure information exchange between European public administrations. It is a European IP network, similar to the Internet in its universal reach, but dedicated to inter-administrative requirements and providing guaranteed performance levels.

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Objectives

STESTA aims to provide telecommunication services for data exchanges required for the implementation of European policy.

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How does it work?

STESTA is a network of networks, composed of the EuroDomain backbone and Local Domain networks. Local Domains can be national or regional networks, European Institutions or Agencies. The EuroDomain is a European backbone network for administrative data exchanges acting as a network communication platform between local administrations. This allows any site connected to EuroDomain to communicate with any other linked site. The EuroDomain is totally isolated from the public Internet. This guarantees restricted access as only administrations may access the EuroDomain. Security is also enhanced by the implementation of IPSEC technology to prevent eavesdropping and advanced encryption mechanisms. The STESTA domain-based approach allows national administrations to connect to European information sources while maintaining national autonomy in network implementation.

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Achievements

STESTA continued to build on the success of the preceding network (TESTA). The kicked - off was in mid 2007, and full migration was achieved by end of April 2008. General use of STESTA is growing fast, with total network volume traffic growing in average by 30% per month. The continuing enhancement of security on STESTA will lead to the communications infrastructure being accredited, by 2009, to transport information classified to the level of EU RESTRICTED, according to the Council's security regulations (Council decision 2001/264/EC).

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Who benefits?

Public Administrations: The core service of STESTA is to facilitate communication between local domains. Almost all EU Institutions, EU agencies and Member States are connected to STESTA. Initiatives to connect other administrations are ongoing, including those of Candidate Countries.

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The role of STESTA in IDABC

STESTA is an IDABC Infrastructure service to provide Trans-European Services for Telematics between Administrations. Interested parties should notify the IDABC Unit of their interest, indicating which sites require access to STESTA, with whom they need to communicate, and the type of services requested. Information about the legal basis of their data exchange should also be provided so that the IDABC Unit can check eligibility. IDABC will consult national network coordinators on implementation options. Unless reasonable justification is provided, preference will be given to establishing connections through national administrative networks. In exceptional circumstances, direct links to STESTA can be made available, but in this case some costs will have to be covered by the local administration or the sector.

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The future of STESTA

In the context of the preparation of the third phase of the IDA Programme, STESTA will be replaced by a new IDABC communication platform. In a collaborative approach with the European Institutions and the Member States, the main requirements and architecture principles are being defined. Special attention will be given to answer the sectoral needs with end-to-end security, end-to-end service level agreements and tailored supervision services.

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Technical Information

Project start date

2006

Project completion date

2008

Project status

Operational

IDA budget

2005 - 2009  €53 300 000

Responsible service

DG  Information Technology, Unit C2 (Network Infrastracture)

Project coordinator

Pieter Wellens. Aldo Grech

Contacts

Pieter.Wellens@ec.europa.eu 

Aldo.Grech@ec.europa.eu

Countries involved

All EU Member States and Candidate
Countries

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