EU member states will be better equipped to prevent, detect and combat irregular migration, but also to save migrants’ lives, thanks to the “Eurosur” border surveillance system, whose operating rules were approved by Parliament on Thursday. Eurosur will enable member states to share real-time images and data on developments at the EU’s external borders.
Eurosur communication network is designed to improve the detection, prevention and combating of irregular immigration and cross-border crime. MEPs insisted that it must also be used to help save migrants’ lives.
“Only by having a pan-European border surveillance system we can prevent the Mediterranean from becoming a graveyard for refugees trying to cross it in unseaworthy small boats in search of a better life in Europe. To prevent a tragedy like that off Lampedusa from happening again, rapid intervention is necessary”, said rapporteur Jan Mulder (ALDE, NL) in the plenary debate on Wednesday.
EU countries using Eurosur will be required always to respect human rights, including the “non-refoulement” principle, which prohibits returning a person to a place where his or her life or freedoms could be threatened.
Eurosur rules will also require users to protect all EU fundamental rights, including personal data protection. Any exchange of personal data among EU member states or with third countries via Eurosur must remain an exception and comply with data protection laws.
Furthermore, member states must not use Eurosur to send third countries any information that could be used to identify a person whose request for international protection is being processed or whose life or physical integrity could be at risk.