The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) published the report from the Conference of Innovative Technologies for Strengthening the Schengen Zone held in March this year.
In this event participated, a large number of policymakers, senior technology project managers, as well as strategic industry leaders as well as essential actors significantly who contribute to the EU’s visa-free zone to be more secure and resilient.
In addition, the conference also included discussions on the current situation as well as needs in EU countries as well as selected innovative technology solutions that could further help strengthen the Schengen Zone.
The three organisers of this event were represented by Matthias Oel, Director Borders, Schengen and Visa, DG Home, European Commission, as well as Hans Leijtens, Frontex Executive Director, and Luis de Eusebio Ramos, Europol Deputy Executive Director, Capabilities Directorate.
Among the key issues of this topic were:
- Alternative available measures to ensure the security of the Schengen Zone while also keeping the right of free movement and also protect EU values and fundamental rights, also taking into account the privacy
- Innovative solutions for border management and law enforcement
“Innovative solutions, such as mobile biometric identification and vehicle tracking technologies, can improve law enforcement capabilities and reduce the reintroduction of internal border controls to last resort situations,” the report reads.
In addition, it emphasises that innovative solutions have the capacity to bring notable added value for border management and law enforcement work, adding that the rapid advancement of technology permits for more compact as well as portable devices, thus making controls in cross-border regions more mobile and flexible.
The report says that the bloc should work in order to foster synergies among key stakeholders.
“Europol, the Commission, Frontex and EU-LISA should facilitate the innovation process among Member States, promoting the co-creation of European solutions, the development of synergies across multiple parties and the active reuse of solutions for enhanced interoperability,” the report says.
Authorities in EU countries have tightened efforts in order to deal with the influx of people attempting to reach the EU countries in an unlawful way.
A previous report from Frontex revealed that for a period from January until June this year, a total of 132,370 people attempted to reach the bloc’s states. According to the agency, this is the most significant increase registered in the first half of the year since 2016, and ten per cent more compared to the figures of the previous year.