Despite the efforts of Frontex, the EU agency charged with coordinating external border surveillance, cooperation is not yet what it should be between member states and between authorities within the same state when it comes to surveillance of the Schengen area's external borders. The European Commission has decided to tackle this issue and, on 12 December 2011, proposed to put in place a European border surveillance system (EUROSUR) by means of a regulation - with the aim of it being operational by 1 October 2013.

EUROSUR's key objective will be to enhance information exchange and cooperation between national authorities charged with border surveillance. The idea is to reduce the number of migrants who enter European Union territory illegally and the death toll among illegal migrants at sea, and to combat cross-border crime (human trafficking and trafficking in illegal products).

EUROSUR will provide a common framework for information exchange and cooperation by 17 member states (Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain) as well as Norway and Iceland, from 1 October 2013. Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden will be involved from 1 October 2014. The system will also involve close cooperation with neighbouring non-EU countries.

In practice, it will entail the establishment of coordination centres for border surveillance...

To continue reading