EU plans border surveillance system

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The European Union has outlined plans to create a border surveillance system that will see member states exchange up-to-date information across a secure computer network..

However, the link-up between nations would not include sending personal data to other countries.

"The European Border Surveillance System [Eurosur] should provide the common technical framework for streamlining the daily cooperation and communication between member states' authorities, and facilitate the use of state-of-the-art technology for border surveillance," an official EU statement said.

"A key operational objective should be the sharing of information, excluding personal data, between existing national and European systems."

The EU added that the secure computerised communication network would also exchange data and coordinate activities with the Frontex Agency, which currently deals with border security.

The Commission claimed that Eurosur's main purpose would be to prevent unauthorised border crossings, which would help reduce the number of illegal immigrants losing their life at sea.

Eurosur would also be expected to increase the internal security of the EU by contributing to the prevention of cross-border crime, including terrorism and the trafficking of humans, drugs and arms.

The EU said that the new system was necessary because of a lack of funding and technical limitations in the current regime.

"For the time being, national border surveillance systems are covering only selected parts of the EU external borders," the EU statement said.

"Due to technical and financial limitations, the areas covered by surveillance are currently restricted to certain flat or coastal areas and those areas in which operations are carried out."

The EU maintained that authorities responsible for border control needed more timely and reliable information to detect, identify, track and intercept those attempting to enter the EU illegally.

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