Integrated Border Management (IBM)

Keywords: Security policy

Switzerland’s Integrated Border Management Strategy 2012 and its Integrated Border Management Action Plan 2014 provided, for the first time, a collective roof for all the activities of the various border management authorities. The first IBM strategy cycle ended in 2018 with a final report. The Federal Council mandated the SEM to develop a follow-up strategy in close co-operation with the appropriate partners at federal and cantonal level. This strategy is the ‘Integrated Border Management Strategy 2027’.

The vision of IBM 2027 continues along the same lines as the previous strategy, with the core elements being the prevention of illegal migration and cross-border crime. Another component of the strategy is, once again, to ensure smooth border crossings for legal travellers. One new aspect is the explicit mention of the border in safeguarding the security of Switzerland and the Schengen Area, while further elements include strengthening co-operation and the use of modern technologies.  

The strategy identifies the necessity of having ready responses to the challenges expected up to 2027. Major factors to be considered in the coming years include increasing mobility, heightened threat levels, the perpetual reform of the Schengen Acquis, the increasing complexity and overlapping of border management tasks, and the rapid development of technology and its impact on processes. The strategy addresses these issues and endeavours to assess their impact on border management in the future.

IBM 2027 contains 36 overriding objectives, which can by roughly divided into the following areas:

  • Programme-related strategic objectives
  • Strengthening and formalising co-operation
  • Modernising, harmonising and securing technical control infrastructure at the border and inside the country
  • Ensuring a high-quality border management that complies with defined standards
  • Ensuring that existing resources are used efficiently

The efficacy and success of the strategy will depend on what structures and resources are allocated to implementing specific measures. As in the first cycle, the measures are expected to be pooled into an action plan and be clearly prioritised. In addition, the action plan should be dynamic, so that it can be adapted whenever necessary to changes in parameters or influencing factors. It should be available by the end of 2020.

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