ABC4EU - ABC Gates for 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. There has been an active trend to use more automation and technology to aid border processes. ABC4EU is an EU Framework Programme 7 (FP7) Project that began in January 2014 and will last for 4 years. The project is led by Indra Sistema S.A. from Spain. The project proposal is addressing the topic: SEC-2012.3.4-6 Enhancing the workflow and functionalities of Automated Border Control (ABC) gates –Integration Project.

  • Implementation date1/1/2014 - 3/31/2018
  • FunderFP7 Cooperation
  • Research areaCoherent security
  • Project typeInternational RDI

People travel and migrate. International movement is on the rise and so are the numbers of border crossings each year. In 2011 alone, there were over 700 million Schengen border crossings, and the estimate is that there will be an 80% increase by 2030. Thus, border crossings should be made as smooth and rapid as possible for everyday travelling without compromising security. ABC4EU (Automated Border Control Gates for Europe) is a 4-year, EU Framework Programme 7 (FP7) Project that began in January 2014.

At the moment the Automated Border Control Systems can be used by passengers with EU and Schengen ePassport recognizable by the microchip symbol. In the future, together with complementary legislation, also non-Schengen passengers will be able to use the ABC gate. The ABC gate compares the biometric data (e.g. facial image or fingerprints, etc.) from the passenger’s travel document onto the real-life equivalent. It also verifies the validity and reliability of the travel document. If the match is high enough, the passenger is let through from the gate.

The aim of ABC4EU is to make border checks more flexible and user-friendly for passengers by harmonising the functionalities of border check automation. Greater harmonisation should create a better passenger experience and encourage people to use ABC gates at border crossing points. ABC gates facilitate more fluent travelling by shortening queuing time. Harmonisation should affect many functionalities, biometrics, gate design and the border check process itself.

One of the main objectives of the project is to update and integrate current ABC systems and extend their use to future ePassports. Simultaneously, states can fight cross-border crime and illegal migration more efficiently, and provide a higher level of internal security. The system will also benefit different stakeholders, such as transport operators, as the increasing flow of travellers will be handled in an efficient way.

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