Photo by Frontex

EU Border Agency, Facing 900 Million Crossings a Year, Asks Industry to Innovate

By 2025, the number of people entering the EU is expected to rise to 900 million a year — a 50 percent rise from the current annual figure of 600 million.

With as many as a third of those arrivals being non-EU nationals, the growth is putting pressure on the EU’s traveller processing capabilities, a situation further complicated by ongoing and emerging security threats, Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri told the World Customs Organization this week.

Leggeri said it is becoming more and more difficult to rely on traditional means of border control to ensure an uninterrupted flow of travelers across the border while increasing security. “The work of customs authorities around the world is vital to find effective and sustainable solutions to the risks emanating from cross-border crime and international terrorism, and our cooperation is becoming ever more important.”

Smart borders will be a key solution to these challenges, making it crucial for both border guard and customs authorities to harness the power that innovative new technologies can offer.

With this in mind, Frontex is organizing a dialogue session with industry representatives who will present foresight methodologies/procedures they have developed or follow. In addition, invited industry representatives are expected to also briefly present areas of research or future technological concepts that have been identified through technology foresight as potentially having a significant impact on border security in the medium to long-term (5 – 20 years).

Frontex intends the dialogue session to be an important step towards setting up a technology foresight component in support of the European Border and Coast Guard community. Industry is invited to send their applications for this specific event to tech.foresight@frontex.europa.eu by 07 April 2019. Further details can be found here.

Depending on the outcome of the evaluation of the submitted applications, which will be announced by 14 April 2019, and the interest of potential contributors, the event is envisaged to take place on 16 May 2019, in Warsaw, Poland at Frontex’s headquarters. During the event, the selected entities will be allocated 30 minutes for their presentations.

Kylie Bielby has 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. She is an editor and contributor for Jane's by IHS Markit, a columnist for security and counter-terror publications, and a former managing editor for Homeland Security Today.

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