Since January 2009, ESG has been conducting a technical study on future EU border surveillance (EUROSUR).

The creation of a European border surveillance system (EUROSUR) aims at preventing unauthorised border crossings, increasing the internal security of the EU by containing cross-border crime and reducing the number of people endangering their lives in the attempt to illegally immigrate to the EU.

At the beginning of 2009, the Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security of the European Commission contracted ESG with the “Technical study for the development of concepts for a border surveillance infrastructure, a secure communication network and a pre-frontier intelligence picture of the border within the framework of a European border surveillance system”.

ESG is conducting the study as the main contractor with THALES, EADS, SELEX-SI as participating companies, as well as the University of the federal armed forces Munich.

One of the most urgent problems of the European Union is illegal immigration crossing EU land and sea borders. EUROSUR, as a comprehensive and integrated approach, aims to significantly improve the security at EU external borders and implement the common “EU Border Management Strategy”. With a range of technical concepts, the authorities of the member states shall be able to work effectively at the local level, to regulate at the national level, to coordinate at the European level and to cooperate with neighbouring third countries.

The results of the study shall be used for the purpose of directly enabling the European Commission to use the financial support provided by the “European External Borders Fund” as effectively as possible in order to systematically realise the EUROSUR vision.

The study will provide all the necessary concepts, systematic and technical specifications and initial cost estimates in order to set up national surveillance systems at land and sea borders, taking into consideration the most modern technologies and the latest technology standards, or to extend systems already in existence.

Additionally, new National Coordination Centres (NCCs) in the member states are to be developed and systematically networked. These NCCs are an elementary part of an integrated European external border management. On the one hand, the NCCs will serve as a communication hub between the states, and on the other hand, they will unite the heterogeneous, national characteristics of the diverse authorities taking part (e.g. customs, police, border police, coast guard, army) under the one roof of a common coordination centre. In particular, the data from the surveillance sensors will be consolidated to give a national situational picture (NSP) of each state.

The NCCs and the EU authority FRONTEX will be networked together by means of a secure communication information system (CIS) which is to be defined. For the very first time, a complete European situational picture (ESP) will be created using the NSPs of the member states and enhanced with European data.

Furthermore, the architecture for a “Common Pre-frontier Intelligence Picture” (CPIP) will be created for FRONTEX with the focus on the pre-frontier areas. The aim is to identify new migration trends, risks and threats to the EU external borders early using the evaluations from Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) and Imagery Intelligence (IMINT), amongst others.

At the beginning of August, ESG delivered the required specifications to the European Commission. They have already been evaluated by experts from EU member states.

It was certified that ESG had fulfilled all the requirements of the study. For the verification of fundamental parts of the CIS and CPIP concepts, a pilot project will be conducted at the end of November 2009 in cooperation with six selected member states and FRONTEX.

The progress of the project verified and confirmed by the EU Commission again emphasises ESG’s excellence as a technology and process consultant and its expertise in carrying out complex studies in Geo-IT, communication and IT system integration.