People travel and migrate. International movement is on the rise and so are the numbers of border crossings each year, too. In 2011 alone, there were over 700 million border crossings, and estimates predict that there will be an 80 % increase by 2030. Border crossings should be made as smooth and rapid as possible for travellers without compromising security. This would benefit both states and passengers if the Border Control Processes were automated and harmonized, i.e. uniform across Europe.
ABC4EU stands for Automated Border Control Gates for Europe. It is an EU wide project and involves a Consortium of 14 partners from 7 different countries, with a budget of 16,8 Million Euros, 70% EU funding. The aim is to make border control more flexible by enhancing the workflow and harmonizing the functionalities of Automated Border Control (ABC) gates, which are only one example of automation. Project started in January 2014 and will last for 4 years. The project is led by Indra Sistemas S.A. from Spain.
During the last years, many ABC Gates have been deployed in the main European airports, most of them as pilot projects intended to test their capability to improve the border crossing processes in aspects such as speed, security, automation, false rejection reduction, etc. Experience gained from these pilots has been periodically assessed within the Frontex ABC Workshops, where the need for a harmonized approach has been specifically addressed as one of the most urgent issues to be solved. In particular, harmonization would be required in areas as e-passports management, biometrics, gate design, human interface, processes, PKD certificate exchange, signalling and interoperability. On the other hand, EU Smart Border Initiative adds a new approach to be considered in ABC development: The inclusion of a Registered Travel Program (RTP) system for Third Country Nationals and an Entry Exit System (EES).”
EC(1999) 435 The Schengen Acquis.
EC(2006) 562 The Schengen Borders Code.
COM(2008) 69 COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS - Preparing the next steps in border management in the European Union.
COM(2011) 680 COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL - Smart borders, options and the way ahead.
COM(2013) 95 Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL - establishing an Entry/Exit System (EES) to register entry and exit data of third country nationals crossing the external borders of the Member States of the European Union.
COM(2013) 96 Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL - amending Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 as regards the use of the Entry/Exit System (EES) and the Registered Traveller Programme (RTP).
COM(2013) 97 Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL - establishing a Registered Traveller Programme.
COM(2016) 194 REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL - establishing an Entry/Exit System (EES) to register entry and exit data and refusal of entry data of third country nationals crossing the external borders of the Member States of the European Union and determining the conditions for access to the EES for law enforcement purposes and amending Regulation (EC) No 767/2008 and Regulation (EU) No 1077/2011