On March 11 and 12, the Borderpol World Conference on Integrating Command and Control and Immigration and Customs Efficiency with Advanced Game Changing Technology for the Future of Border Security took place at Prague Congress Center. Lina Kolesnikova reports.
This event brought together border agencies from 49 countries. Private sector presented itself via innovative technology providers, who demonstrated their services and products at series of workshops and an exhibition.
Speakers were united in their opinion about the complexity of the environment in which border agencies operate nowadays. European countries face serious challenges in dealing with internal border management, while the situation at external borders is extermely vulnerable. It is a shame that Frontex did not take the opportunity at this conference to present its view of how external border management could work in synergy with national systems.
Another interesting topic that needs more attention is Rapid Reaction Pools for border guards and equipment. Despite repeated calls for EU member states to deliver on their commitments, gaps still persist in those pools, especially when it comes to technical equipment. Ongoing joint operations, such as in Bulgaria, Greece and Italy, face similar challenges, with a chronic shortage of deployed officers from member states.
Trafficking of human beings, drugs and tobacco were in focus as well and an overview of current technologies used to detect illegal products’ transfer from Baltic States to the UK was given by Czech National Border agency.
Several presentations covered the impact of digital technology, innovation and effective leadership may have on border management. There were interesting lessons learnt, case studies of best practices from EU member states on developments in relation to smart borders and how moving towards the interoperability of border management systems is ongoing.
The overview of future borders, next generation of border controls and border officers was also covered by several presentations.