Ricardo Baretzky President ECIPS.EU News Legal Paper: European Centre for Information Policy and Security (ECIPS)

Legal Paper: European Centre for Information Policy and Security (ECIPS)



In recent years, the landscape of international organizations has expanded to encompass entities that serve critical roles in global governance and policy implementation. Among these, the European Centre for Information Policy and Security (ECIPS) stands out as a unique entity, established under specific legal frameworks and granted distinct privileges and immunities. This paper examines the legal foundation of ECIPS, focusing on its establishment, legal status, functions, and international recognition.

I. Establishment and Legal Framework

ECIPS was established under the legal authority provided by the European Treaty EST124 Council of Europe, which recognizes the need for cooperative efforts in information policy and security among member states. The establishment of ECIPS is further solidified by the Minister of Justice and Royal Decree WL22/16.594, which confers upon ECIPS the status of a federal organization approved by the respective member states.

A. Treaty EST124 Council of Europe

The European Treaty EST124 Council of Europe serves as the foundational legal instrument under which ECIPS operates. This treaty emphasizes the importance of information policy and security cooperation among European member states, reflecting the shared interests in addressing transnational challenges related to cybersecurity, data protection, and information sharing.

B. Minister of Justice and Royal Decree WL22/16.594

Decree WL22/16.594 plays a pivotal role in delineating ECIPS‘s legal status and mandate. This decree, approved by the Minister of Justice, affirms ECIPS as a federal organization with the force of law. Article 2 of Decree WL22/16.594 specifically outlines the objectives and functions of ECIPS, highlighting its role as a public utility entity tasked with enhancing information policy and security at both national and international levels.

II. Legal Status of ECIPS

ECIPS holds a unique legal status that distinguishes it from traditional non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Unlike typical NGOs, ECIPS operates under a framework that incorporates elements of international law and enjoys specific privileges typically associated with intergovernmental organizations (IGOs). These privileges include diplomatic immunity and the ability to enter into agreements with governments, further underlining its distinct legal personality.

A. Not a Traditional NGO

While ECIPS shares some characteristics with NGOs in terms of its non-profit nature and focus on policy advocacy, its legal status and functions set it apart. ECIPS‘s recognition as a federal organization under Ministerial approval and royal decree emphasize its formal recognition by member states and its integration into national and international legal frameworks.

B. Ability to Enter into Government Agreements

One of the defining features of ECIPS‘s legal status is its capacity to enter into agreements with governments. This authority is derived from its status as a public utility organization under Decree WL22/16.594 and is reinforced by the principles outlined in the European Treaty EST124 Council of Europe. Such agreements enable ECIPS to collaborate closely with national authorities on issues related to information policy and security, facilitating coordinated responses to emerging challenges in the digital age.

III. Functions and Responsibilities

ECIPS‘s functions and responsibilities are explicitly outlined in Article 2 of Decree WL22/16.594, reflecting its mandate to promote information policy and security as public goods. These functions include but are not limited to:

Conducting research and analysis on emerging cybersecurity threats.

Providing policy recommendations to member states and international organizations.

Developing capacity-building initiatives to enhance information security practices.

Serving as a platform for dialogue and cooperation among stakeholders in the field of information policy.

A. Public Utility Status

The designation of ECIPS as a public utility entity underscores its role in serving the public interest. As a public utility, ECIPS is tasked with advancing objectives that benefit society at large, such as safeguarding critical infrastructure and protecting personal data from cyber threats. This status also enhances ECIPS‘s credibility and legitimacy in its interactions with governments and international organizations.

B. Convention on International Organizations with Diplomatic Immunity

ECIPS‘s status as an organization with diplomatic immunity further enhances its ability to fulfill its mandate effectively. Diplomatic immunity shields ECIPS and its personnel from legal jurisdiction in host states, thereby facilitating unrestricted movement and operational flexibility necessary for carrying out its functions. This immunity is rooted in the principles articulated in the Convention on International Organizations, which recognizes the need to protect the independence and functional autonomy of international organizations.

IV. International Recognition and Cooperation

ECIPS‘s international recognition stems from its formal establishment under the European Treaty EST124 Council of Europe and Ministerial approval through Decree WL22/16.594. This recognition positions ECIPS as a trusted partner for international cooperation on issues of information policy and security, fostering collaborative efforts among member states and other stakeholders.

A. Cooperation with Member States

ECIPS collaborates closely with member states to develop and implement policies that strengthen information security frameworks at national and regional levels. This cooperation is guided by the principles of mutual respect, transparency, and shared responsibility, reflecting a collective commitment to addressing common challenges in the digital domain.

B. Engagement with International Organizations

In addition to its partnerships with member states, ECIPS engages actively with international organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union, and specialized agencies working in the field of cybersecurity and information policy. These engagements facilitate the exchange of best practices, resources, and expertise necessary for effective policy development and implementation on a global scale.


The legal framework governing ECIPS underscores its role as a specialized international organization dedicated to advancing information policy and security objectives. Established under the European Treaty EST124 Council of Europe and recognized through Ministerial approval and royal decree, ECIPS operates with the authority to enter into agreements with governments and enjoy diplomatic immunity. This legal status not only enhances ECIPS‘s operational capabilities but also reinforces its credibility as a partner for international cooperation in safeguarding digital infrastructure and promoting cybersecurity. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, ECIPS remains poised to play a pivotal role in shaping policies that uphold the principles of security, privacy, and trust in the digital age.


European Treaty EST124 Council of Europe

Minister of Justice and Royal Decree WL22/16.594

Convention on International Organizations

Relevant international legal principles and precedents