Capability Gap

[2.CGF.21] & [2.CGF.22] & [2.CGF.23]

Lack of a Common Prefrontier Intelligence picture

Prior to introducing and describing these three gaps, the different border types (airport, green and blue) should be introduced. Airport borders are the least challenging for practitioners to control. Border crossers arrive in a confined space, are visible as they walk through various checkpoints, their papers are checked quickly against information in databases and they are observed for unusual and suspicious behaviours by a large number of border guards, dogs and their handlers, and occasional profilers. Land (Green) borders are similar to airport checks only for the established border Crossing points (BCPs). Most of the land border management challenges are encountered along the land borders between BCPs. The distances between the BCPs are the majority of the land borders. Security along this border type is composed of many distinct elements, including physical and artificial barriers, the deployment of border patrol personnel and installation of surveillance technological means like long-range radars, sensors sprinkled on suspected routes, patrols by vehicles and UAVs and observation towers. In general, border controls which years ago were handled by military units, have been replaced by technology, fast response units from Border Guard Authorities (BGAs) when alerted and the assistance of national police. Once suspected illegal crossers are detected, border guards can be dispatched to intercept them if possible, and local national police is notified of the incursions of unwanted and irregular crossers for further law enforcement actions within the internal space of the EU. Sea (Blue) borders present their own challenges. Their management requires massive investments in vessels and observation technology to detect small boats before they reach the territorial waters and shores of the EU. 


Better preventive mechanisms are needed along the borders. Legislation and procedures between EU and third countries should be adapted. This is a brief description of capability gap no 2. CGF.21. Along the border management task, BGA should enforce preventive measures to discourage, timely detect, and prevent cross-border illegal activities such as migrant smuggling, trafficking in human beings and terrorism. Risk Analysis is a powerful tool which is not fully exploited at practitioners stationed at EU external borders. Moreover, the use of additional means (equipment and resources), are one of the measures used to deter illegal activities along the borders. It should be emphasised that the outcome of the ongoing border management activities produced intelligence to adversaries about the number of resources, equipment, and the required time to respond to illegal border activities, therefore there is a continuous need for additional preventive measures to offset limited response capabilities. In other words, additional preventive measures are needed to balance BGA limitations to respond at the same time at different locations with the required means. 

There are two more capability (sub) gaps associated with prevention. Advanced detection and surveillance methods are required for “difficult” terrain (forest, mountain) areas. Solutions should address the challenges of power availability in these areas and provide solutions for their connectivity with command-and-control (C2) centres. This is described with 2.CGF.22. In addition, more sophisticated detection methods are required to prevent smuggling to normal Border Crossing Points (BCP) and along borders in general.

  • This is described with 2.CGF.23, which will be researched in future workshops.

- Operational Challenges

- Current description of operational capability

- Current Capabilities

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