Report on Eurosur Published
In September 2018, FRA published a report evaluating the impact of the European Border Surveillance System (Eurosur) Regulation on fundamental rights.
Eurosur has established a mechanism for information exchange and cooperation between different national authorities involved in border surveillance as well as with Frontex. Its objective is to detect, prevent, and combat irregular immigration and cross-border crime as well as to contribute to the protection and saving of lives of migrants.
For the report, FRA reviewed the implementation of Eurosur by Frontex and analysed cooperation agreements concluded by EU Member States with third countries that are integral to the exchange of information for the purposes of Eurosur.
In its conclusions, the report finds that, overall, Frontex pays attention to implementing the Eurosur Regulation in a compliant fundamental rights manner, also through well-designed training. There are areas in which the recording of border surveillance incidents in Eurosur could be improved, however, e.g., by clearly marking incidents related to search and rescue. In the future, with the continued development of Eurosur, new fundamental rights risks may emerge, e.g., in relation to the processing of photographs and videos of vessels with migrants by maritime surveillance aircrafts or concerning algorithms used to track suspicious vessels.
Regarding the cooperation agreements with third countries, the report finds that none of the documents reviewed contain any wording formally contradicting fundamental rights. A number of them, however, lack express safeguards to promote a fundamental rights-compatible implementation, which could be added to future agreements. Furthermore, the report suggests conducting a more systematic and regular assessment of the situation in the third country before border surveillance information is shared.