Today the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) became operational and will address the challenges of cross border crime, irregular migration and the loss of migrants' lives at sea.
With its expertise in maritime surveillance technologies, the JRC provided technical support for the setting-up of EUROSUR and will help its further development of maritime services. In particular, it contributed to define satellite-based services that could be provided under the maritme part of the Copernicus programme (the European Earth Observation Programme).
EUROSUR is a mechanism for Member States' authorities responsible for border surveillance, such as border guards, coast guards, police, customs and navies, to share information and cooperate with the EU border security agency Frontex and neighbouring third countries. The increased exchange of information and the use of modern surveillance technology introduced by EUROSUR can also prove vital in helping to prevent tragic boat accidents like the one off the island of Lampedusa in October 2013.
In addition, the JRC is working on research to enable continuous maritime surveillance of European external borders, starting with the Sicily Channel. It also helps to improve data exchange between maritime administrations through its key contributions towards a Common Information Sharing Environment for the EU maritime domain. The JRC focuses its research on areas where there are capacity gaps, like the detection and tracking of small boats.