The European Border Surveillance system (EUROSUR) is a multipurpose system for cooperation between the EU Member States and Frontex in order to improve situational awareness and increase reaction capability at external borders. The aim is to prevent cross-border crime and irregular migration and contribute to protecting migrants' lives.
It comprises all Schengen area countries and Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia.
Under the Eurosur Regulation, 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 Member State maintains its 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.
Frontex maintains a European situational picture and common pre-frontier intelligence picture that contain information on the situation at European borders and the pre-frontier area. This information is available to all the EU Member States. Furthermore, neighboring Member States share the situational picture of their neighboring external border sections with each other.
This way, Eurosur enables the Member States to rapidly exchange information, ensure necessary cooperation and offer a joint response to challenges. In addition, Frontex is responsible for coordinating the so-called common application of surveillance tools: the Member States can request Frontex' assistance in selective monitoring of areas or vessels of interest for Eurosur purposes by using tools like satellite imagery or ship reporting systems. This can be used to detect cases of irregular migration or cross-border crime, but also to locate a boat in distress.
During the next year, Eurosur will be further upgraded. In 2015, a Eurosur Handbook containing technical and operational guidelines, recommendations and best practices, including cooperation with third countries, shall be published. It is foreseen that functioning of Eurosur will be assessed by Frontex in 2015 and by the Commission in 2016.