The EU's external borders and migrants' lives would be better protected under the new Eurosur border-surveillance system to be debated on Wednesday and put to a vote on Thursday. According to data from the EU border management agency Frontex, more than 72 000 people crossed the EU’s external borders illegally in 2012, about half the number for 2011.
Eurosur, whose governing rules have been agreed provisionally by MEPs and EU countries, is a communication network designed to improve the detection, prevention and combating of clandestine immigration and cross-border crime. At the initiative of MEPs, it must also be used to help save migrants' lives when they are in danger.
When using Eurosur, EU countries must always respect human rights, including the "non-refoulement" principle, which prohibits returning people to a place where their life or freedoms could be threatened, the EP-Council deal says. There must also be full compliance with EU fundamental rights, including personal data protection.
What is Eurosur?
Eurosur is intended to improve the management of the EU's external borders by stepping up the exchange of information among European countries and with the EU border management agency Frontex. The system would allow the sharing of real-time data and intelligence from various authorities and surveillance tools, such as satellites or ship reporting systems, via a protected communications network. Eurosur should start working on 2 December 2013 in all member states located at the southern and eastern external borders and on 1 December 2014 in the others
Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), first reading agreement
Debate: Wednesday, 09 October
Vote: Thursday, 10 October
Press conference: Wednesday at 14.30