Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge:

Border control relies on a number of presumed abilities in those performing it. These include the ability to:

·         stay alert from the beginning of a shift to the end;

·         distinguish truth from falsity;

·         detect malicious intent;

·         detect invalid or falsified documents;

·         detect hidden goods or humans in vehicles;

·         detect behavioural indicators of persons engaged in, or methods used to undertake, illicit activity;

·         compare and agree a match or non match between the facial image in the passport with the face of the traveler, irrespective of ethnic background, age difference or normality in the passport image.


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 flows. Border control is likely to face increasing demands for efficiency, which implies a need for technical systems that are user friendly and reliable in operational conditions.

The project should list and carefully analyze the psychological factors which may affect the performance of key border guard tasks and also include a review of the psychological literature relevant to such task.

It should suggest remedies and a strategy for improving performance. The research should help to identify which tasks related to border control could be carried out in a more automated manner, and for which tasks the human factor is indispensable.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between €2m and €5m would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

This research should make a major contribution in improving the effectiveness of EU border control. It will contribute to the implementation of the Smart borders initiative (and future regulation), reinforcing checks while speeding up border crossing for regular travellers, optimizing procedures and enhancing the security at the moment of the crossing of the EU external borders.

The action is expected to proactively target the needs and requirements of users, such as border management decision-makers, border guards and citizens (regular travellers).


Type of action: Research & Innovation Actions



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