The Center for Security Studies (KEMEA), Coordinator of the MEDEA Project (GA 787111 – https://www.medea-project.eu/), and ISDEFE (Ingeniería de Sistemas para la Defensa de España S.A.) co-organized in conjunction with the EWISA Project partners (GA 608174 – http://www.ewisa-project.eu/) a Joint Workshop on Land Border Security Needs and Challenges.
The workshop took place in Orestiada, Greece, on the 3rd of April 2019. The workshop’s objective was to bring together Border Guard Authorities (Romanian Border Police, Bulgarian Border Police, Albanian Border Police, Hellenic Police, Finnish Border Guards and Spanish Guardia Civil) operating at external EU Land borders. The practitioners who were invited, along with FRONTEX officers, elaborated and identified the operational capabilities required for more effectively securing and protecting EU borders.
Twenty-two practitioners participated in the workshop. After being introduced with specific scenarios, the participants were actively engaged in thorough discussions around specific challenges and the desired capabilities for addressing them. In addition, these requested capabilities were examined for their impact and dependency regarding Technological, Organizational, Human and Regulatory/Political dimensions. The final outcomes will be subject to further analysis and will serve as input to the Mediterranean Research Security and Innovation Agenda (MSRIA) which aspires to identify the context of future R&D needs and requirements.
On the 4th of April, the Workshop attendants participated in Cutting Edge Innovative Solutions for Border Security Demonstrations. Two solution providers demonstrated their proposal in real field conditions, along an area of the land borders with Turkey. Aside from the prementioned representatives, over sixty (60) participants attended the demonstrations, as well as the EWISA Project Officer from EC – DG HOME, Research officers from EC – Joint Research Center, the Head of FRONTEX’s Liaison Office for Greece & Cyprus, the General Regional Police Director and finally a number of high ranking officers from the Hellenic Police.
The workshop and the demonstration participants expressed their interest in attending similar events and acknowledged the importance of such events and their added operational value. It was agreed upon that similar initiatives should be performed more frequently, so as to engage the EU industry in developing innovative Border Surveillance solutions to fulfill the desired capabilities identified by practitioners.