The European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA) was set to hold its first conference - “Smart Borders: Faster and Safer Way to Europe” - on Oct. 1 in Tallinn, Estonia, to elaborate on the European Commission Smart Borders initiative and the related pilot project to be delivered by eu-LISA in 2015, it said in a press release.
“eu-LISA is happy to host more than 100 experts and practitioners to discuss the innovative and practical means to facilitate more efficient border management and offer better traveller experiences when crossing the EU’s external borders. We regard the fact that the EC and EU member states have entrusted us to carry out the pilot on the Smart Borders initiative as a great responsibility, but also an acknowledgement of the Agency’s successful performance to date. The pilot aims to test particular elements of the technical solutions for the Entry-Exit System and Registered Traveler Program proposed by the European Commission, and its outcomes will be crucial for further decision-making regarding the actual development of the systems, pending the passing of the relevant legislation,”emphasized eu-LISA Executive Director Mr. Krum Garkov.
Stakeholders, practitioners and experts from 20 European countries gathered at the conference to discuss practical aspects of the implementation of the proposed new systems at both national and European levels. Under the Smart Borders initiative, enhanced use of new technologies for border checks is proposed as a means of addressing the needs of travelers and helping the responsible authorities.
Time-consuming practices based on stamping passports would be eliminated and greater accuracy and reliability during border checks should be assured through the introduction of biometric ID checks. Such innovations would clearly lead to notable changes in the processes and procedures employed at all levels and operational and technical challenges that lie ahead will be outlined in panel discussions of the conference.
“The EC Smart Borders Package might become a valuable tool for providing risk-based facilitation to a wider group of travellers. We should use the opportunity and take full advantage of the capabilities the technology provides to combine stronger security and more efficient external border management in Europe with ease of travel,” explained Mr. Garkov.
The one-day conference brought together delegates from European Union Institutions, national governments, corporate and non-governmental organizations.
Smart solutions at EU borders
Increasing volumes of travelers are putting pressure on existing processes and systems while security risks associated with cross-border activities and irregular migration are ever-more prevalent.
Set against a backdrop of tight member state budgets, there is an acknowledgement that technology may address these risks, facilitating more efficient border management processes and better traveler experiences.
The European Commission has proposed implementation of two systems:
1) an automated Entry-Exit system that would allow the accurate and reliable calculation of authorized stay and the verification of individual travel history of third country nationals traveling to the Schengen area as well as enhancing security during border crossings; and
2) a Registered Traveler Program that will enable expedited transit for pre-vetted and pre-screened frequent travelers who choose to enroll into the system.
Together, the systems should enable states to identify those non-EU travelers who fail to leave the territory when their permitted stay elapses, permit improved monitoring of transit patterns at their borders and through the use of biometrics, prevent document and identity fraud and enable flexible and fluid automated and manual border crossing.
For more information on the conference see: www.eulisaconference2014.eu
The European Agency, eu-LISA, has been established to manage large scale information systems in the area of freedom, security and justice. It fulfills the operational management tasks for the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II), Visa Information System (VIS) and Eurodac.
The Agency thereby supports the implementation of the EU's border management, asylum and migration policies.
The Agency is responsible for keeping all the IT systems under its control permanently functional in order to allow continuous and uninterrupted exchange of data between national authorities. eu-LISA ensures that it applies the highest levels of information security and data protection to the information entrusted to it. The seat of the Agency is in Tallinn(Estonia),the operational management is carried out in Strasbourg(France) with the business continuity technical site in Sankt Johann im Pongau (Austria).
The Agency was formally established in November 2012 and started its operations on Dec. 1, 2012. The Agency is managed and represented by the Executive Director Garkov, who came to office on Nov. 1, 2012.