BES-07-2015 - Border crossing points topic 3: Optimization of border control processes and planning
Apart from the known problem of a continuous increase of travellers crossing EU external borders border control authorities are confronted with a wide range of other problems, including: (a) less staff and financial means in the nearby future, (b) emergence of new technologies supposed to support border authorities in carrying out border control and surveillance tasks, and (c) a growing amount of information available to them coming from various sources (e.g., national or international information systems, sensors, open sources, etc.). Having “less people”, but “new tools and machines” and “more information available” requires establishment of mechanisms to improve decision making processes in the context of planning resources allocation and information workflows. A general challenge is to make the equipment and procedures more appropriate for wide employment. A further general challenge that applies to all scenarios is interoperability (operational as well as technical).
Studies show that, in the long term perspective, the task of border management to facilitate legitimate border crossings, while detecting and preventing illicit activities, will remain a critical capability, given the expected rising cross border flow of people and goods. Border controls thus face increasing demand for efficiency, which implies the need for technical systems and procedures that are user friendly and reliable in operational conditions.
Research is needed in order to conceptualize and develop tools that would facilitate: (a) planning cost- and performance-efficient allocation of assets and human resources to border control tasks, (b) exploration of how to best combine operators with new technologies (e.g., through simulations, virtual environments), and (c) designing optimal information workflows for particular border control scenarios to avoid disproportionate burden on EU external border control authorities and economic operators/citizens, (i.e., which information to utilize and fuse with other, and which to discard, with a view to address the threats in the most efficient manner and at the best place (e.g. in the logistical chain of goods flows)) etc. The underlying data to support the decision making and/or planning in the context of such tool could come from past information gathered over longer period of time.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between €1m and €2m would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
The outcome of the research should be assessed in terms of improved border control modalities with a view to dedicate more time and resources to identify those who may pose a threat. The expected impact is to make the daily work of border control authorities more efficient and to significantly facilitating non-EU citizens and goods/economic operators in crossing EU external borders.
Type of action: Coordination and Support Actions