The European Commission has delegated the budget implementation tasks relating to Smart Borders Pilot to eu-LISA. The Agency will implement the tasks of the Test Phase for the Smart Borders Package in cooperation with relevant Member States in order to provide evidence basis for considering the feasibility for the proposed systems and processes. The Pilot will run throughout 2015 and be concluded with the final Report. The Delegation Agreement was signed on 14 January.
The purpose of the agreement is to define the modalities relating to the implementation of the pilot project for the Smart Borders programme. In particular it outlines the required tasks to be undertaken and establishes the allocated budget. The Smart Borders Pilot aims to test a limited set of technical options identified in the end of 2014 by the Commission-led Technical Study for both automated and manual border controls. It does not aim to test the Entry/Exit System (EES) and the Registered Traveller Programme (RTP) proposals as a whole. The Pilot will test the feasibility of the retained options and validate the selected concepts. The options will be tested against specific measurable criteria, notably accuracy, effectiveness, and impact on the border crossing duration. The results of the Pilot will provide an important evidence basis for considering the feasibility of the system(s) and processes proposed for Smart Borders. These results will be presented in the final Report to decision-makers.
"This is a great responsibility for our Agency but also an acknowledgment for eu-LISA's ability to act as a trusted and reliable partner, possessing the knowledge and expertise required to manage such a complex project. Our sound operational knowledge on the EU IT systems used for border control purposes as well as on the border control processes provide a solid basis to deliver successfully this challenging project, achieving its objectives, " said eu-LISA Executive Director Krum GARKOV.
The Pilot will be carried out in line and in full compliance with directions provided by the co-legislators of the EU. The budget implementation tasks related to Smart Borders have been entrusted to eu-LISA in accord of Articles 5(4) and 13(2)(f) of the ISF Borders Regulation (N 515/2014) and Annex 1 to Commission decision C(2014) 5650 concerning the adoption of the work programme for 2014 and the financing for Union actions and emergency assistance within the framework of the Internal Security Fund – the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa.
Background on eu-LISA:
The European Agency, eu-LISA, has been established to manage large scale information systems in the area of freedom, security and justice. It fulfils the operational management tasks for the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II), Visa Information System (VIS) and Eurodac. The Agency thereby supports the implementation of the EU's border management, asylum and migration policies. The Agency is responsible for keeping all the IT systems under its control permanently functional in order to allow continuous and uninterrupted exchange of data between national authorities. eu-LISA ensures that it applies the highest levels of information security and data protection to the information entrusted to it.
The Agency was formally established in November 2012 and started its operations on 1 December 2012. The seat of the Agency is in Tallinn (Estonia); the operational management is carried out in Strasbourg (France) with the business continuity technical site in Sankt Johann im Pongau (Austria). The Agency is managed and represented by the Executive Director Mr Krum Garkov, who came to office on 1 November 2012.
On 01 October 2014 eu-LISA organised in Tallinn its first conference Smart Borders - "Faster and Safer Way to Europe" - to elaborate on the European Commission Smart Borders initiative and the related pilot project to be delivered by eu-LISA in 2015.