Beyond EU borders

The European Union's Earth observation programme – Copernicus

The monitoring of EU external borders is vital for the internal security and protection of European citizens. That is why Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, has been implementing the Copernicus Programme since 2015, when it signed the Delegation Agreement with the European Commission on the Implementation of the Border Surveillance Component of the Copernicus Security Service and continues to implement it under the Copernicus Contribution Agreement 2021-2028. In line with the agreement, Frontex acts as the single and central point of contact for the acquisition, fusion and delivery of the Copernicus Border Surveillance Services.

Copernicus data allow Frontex to achieve its prime objective - to increase situational awareness at the EU external borders by monitoring and mapping, as well as providing risk assessment. In cooperation with Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space (DG DEFIS) and other relevant stakeholders, Frontex supports national authorities to better detect illegal migration at EU external borders, conduct rescues and save lives at sea and fight cross-border crime.

Frontex is responsible for supporting EU’s external border and law enforcement authorities in the Member States and Schengen Associated Countries, ensuring that Earth Observation data is combined with complementary information to provide a range of services to its stakeholders.  The Border Surveillance Component of the Copernicus Security Services complements the portfolio of services and products provided by Frontex to Member States and other stakeholders through Eurosur Fusion Services (EFS). Thanks to Copernicus data, Frontex can enhance and upgrade its service portfolio, systems and technologies.