Established in 2013, the European Border Surveillance system (EUROSUR) is a framework for information exchange and cooperation between Member States and Frontex to improve situational awareness and increase reaction capability at the external borders.
Eurosur aims is to
Frontex operates EUROSUR, composed of national authorities of Member States responsible for border management, including coast guards, to the extent that they carry out border control tasks.
Each Member State has a National Coordination Centre (NCC), which coordinates and exchanges information among all the authorities responsible for external border surveillance, as well as with other NCCs and Frontex. The NCC maintains the national situational picture providing an overview of the situation at its external border, including the events taking place and assets deployed, as well as relevant background information and analysis.
EUROSUR is essential to the daily functioning of Frontex. It covers most aspect of border management, including land maritime and air border surveillance, but also checks at border crossing points, border operations and integrated planning.
The quality of the data exchanged, the security and reactivity of the systems are improving, while operational cooperation and information exchange with third countries and third parties is planned to expand.
Frontex maintains a European situational picture containing information on the situation at European borders and the pre-frontier area.
This information is available to all the Member States of Schengen and Schengen associated countries. Neighbouring Member States also share the situational picture of their neighbouring external border sections with each other. This way, Eurosur enables the Member States to
Frontex is responsible for coordinating the EUROSUR Fusion Services - Frontex shares information collected from satellites and other surveillance tools such as the ones used by the European Maritime Safety Agency and the EU Satellite Centre with Member States.
No Member State alone could afford the space-based surveillance services and other platforms offered by the EUROSUR Fusion Services. Thanks to these services, each Member State has access to advanced technologies, avoiding duplication and at lowering costs.
EUROSUR also supports reaction capabilities. Member States divide their external borders into external border sections. On the basis of risk analysis and vulnerability assessment, Frontex, in agreement with the Member State concerned, attributes impact levels to each border section. Depending on the impact level attributed, ranging from low to critical, Member States have to adapt their reaction in close coordination with neighbouring Member States, as well as with FRONTEX, which can then deploy the EBCG Standing Corps as appropriate to help.
In 2018, the Commission performed an evaluation of EUROSUR resulting in a new European Border and Coast Guard Regulation.
In April 2021, the Commission adopted an Implementing regulation on the situational pictures of EUROSUR which standardises the information that needs to be included in the situational pictures and in the various reports, making information exchange easier for all the parties involved.
Member States will report on any situation having an impact on the EU external borders via monthly report and case-to-case alerts. This includes reports on illicit trafficking, seizure of drugs, weapons and explosives, as well as on cross-border crimes including as cases of abductions. These reports will allow the preparation of more accurate risk analysis to improve Member States’ reaction capacities. However, these reports will not contain data to help identify natural persons.
Member States now have to report incidents and operations related to Search and Rescue since Search and Rescue incidents are often related to illegal immigration and cross border crime. This contributes to better detection of migrants in danger and helps saving their lives.
The Regulation also sets up an independent Security Accreditation Board composed of security experts from Member States and from the Commission, who will assess the security of the relevant systems and networks, making the exchange of information in EUROSUR more secure and trustful.