MeteoGroup provides Frontex with complete European weather forecast

Weather information crucial for European border control

Frontex is the EU Border and Coast Guard agency that helps EU and Schengen countries manage their external borders and harmonise border control across the EU. The agency also facilitates cooperation between border authorities in each EU country, providing technical support and expertise.
Migration streams and intensity are highly correlated with local and global weather conditions. Accurate and up-to-date environmental assessments and meteorological and oceanographic services are essential to Frontex’s operations. 

In 2017, MeteoGroup won the European tender to provide Frontex with detailed atmospheric and oceanographic/marine conditions, including of a measured data service, modelled forecast service, and a severe weather warning service. Consulting and training services are also included, as well as maintenance, testing, and improvement of services.

Frontex operations
Europe’s external borders have seen an unprecedented rise in the number of migrants and refugees wishing to enter the EU in recent years. Countries with an external border take sole responsibility for border control. Frontex provides additional technical support for EU countries facing severe migratory pressure by coordinating the deployment of additional technical equipment (e.g. aircraft and boats) and specially-trained border staff.

Frontex coordinates maritime operations (e.g. in Greece, Italy, and Spain) but also at external land borders, including in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, and Slovakia. The agency gathers, analyses, and distributes relevant data and insights such as meteorological data and trends.

Risk analysis
All Frontex operations are driven by risk-analysis. Frontex assesses EU border security risks and builds a picture of patterns and trends in irregular migration and cross-border criminal activity at external borders, including human trafficking. Weather patterns and developments are important elements of these risk assessments.

Joint operations and rapid response
As part of joint operations, Frontex coordinates the deployment of specially trained staff and technical equipment (aircraft, vessels, and border control/surveillance equipment) to external border areas in need of additional assistance. Weather information plays an important part in planning the availability and deployment of materials.

Research and information sharing
Frontex brings border control experts with research and industry knowledge together to ensure new technology meet the needs of border control authorities. The agency also develops and operates information systems that enable the swift exchange of information between border authorities.

In all its areas of activity - operations, risk analysis, training, research and development, and returns - Frontex acts as a coordinator, setting up specialised networks between border authorities. This helps develop and share best practices among border authorities of the EU and Schengen associated countries.

Benefits
Around 700 million people cross Europe’s external borders every year, and one of the biggest challenges for border authorities is detecting illegal activity without causing delays for other travellers. There are no permanent border controls between Schengen countries, so external border controls are even more important. Schengen members rely on the quality of checks and surveillance carried out by other EU countries.

Fighting cross-border crime is not only about sharing information, but also about developing long-term solutions. With Frontex’s help, border control officers in the EU now work more closely together. They share knowledge and have access to information not only about what’s happening at their borders, but at all external EU borders. They can also learn about the latest methods and technologies which could improve the quality of their work, and support each other if any one border is under unusual pressure. MeteoGroup is a proud partner of Frontex in helping Europe secure its borders.

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