Ref. Ares(2015)2599344 - 22/06/2015
Ref. Ares(2018)3430863 - 28/06/2018
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL MIGRATION AND HOME AFFAIRS
Directorate E – Migration and Security Funds
Unit E1 – Programming
Observations on the proposed multiannual national programme
under the Internal Security Fund for Spain
Thank you for the third version of the national programme under the Internal Security
Fund for Spain submitted on 20 May 2015,
following the official observations sent by
the Commission on 1 April 2014.
Following the re-examination of the national programme by the Commission, we would
like to provide you with additional observations on this amended version, and invite you
to present us with a modified programme as soon as possible.
The period of six months set for the approval of the multiannual national programme by
the Commission, referred to in Article 14(7) of Regulation (EU) No 514/2014, is hereby
suspended until a revised version of the programme is submitted.
Head of Unit
Encl.: Annex - Observations on the proposed national programme
Commission européenne, B-1049 Bruxelles / Europese Commissie, B-1049 Brussel - Belgium.
Telephone: (32-2) 299 11 11.
Observations on the proposed national programme
We are pleased to note that Spain took substantially in consideration the observations made by
the Commission on the previous version. However, although considerably improved, the
document still needs to be amended and completed on a number of points before the
programme can be considered ready for approval.
Identification of the designated authorities
We take note that the formal full designation has not taken place yet, only a provisional
one. In line with article 31 of Regulation n°514/2014, the Commission would appreciate to
receive information on the reasons leading to the provisional designation as well as the content
of the action plan, and invites Spain to transmit also the respective audit reports.
We appreciate the detailed information on the programme’s management and control
system (MCS) provided in a separate document. We invite Spain to provide a brief summary of
that information in the national programme itself. We note that the table on the first page is
not fully completed (no information is given on the activities delegated) and in the MCS section
below reference is made only to the type of procedures foreseen without describing them. We
invite therefore Spain to complete this section by completing the table and providing in the
respective section some brief information on the main division of responsibilities between the
organisational units of the Responsible Authority, its relationship with the delegated authority,
the activities to be delegated and the main procedures for supervising these delegated
activities, as well as a summary of the main procedures for processing financial claims from
beneficiaries and for authorising and recording expenditure.
Section 2: Baseline situation in the Member State
The presentation of the baseline situation is much improved. To complete it we would
need a detailed explanation as regards the needs underlying actions falling under National
Objective 1 (National Capacity
) such as building renovations, security, IT developments, etc. for
which substantial EBF funding has already been provided notably for refurbishing and enhancing
the security equipment of consulates.
Spain is invited to provide also some more information on its risk analysis capacity. We
note that although mentioned in this section, no reference is made throughout the programme
to actions in this area. It would be useful to know which type of measures are needed to
improve Spain’s risk analysis capacity (for instance through improved information gathering and
exchange, through additional staff trainings on risk analysis, through increased risk analysis
exchange with other Member States and Frontex, etc.). It would also be important to know the
current available means/equipment for border control, as well as any particular needs in this
Section 3: Programme objectives
SO1 – Support the Common Visa Policy
We note that Spain mentions as funding priorities under this section of the programme
an action related to SIS-II (“Integración de listados SIS-II: el listado de extranjeros no admisibles
incluye tanto a los que tengan decretada la devolución o expulsión como a los que se les haya
prohibido la entrada
”). Likewise, Spain mentions as expected result under National Objective 1
) the "full operability of SIS II". As actions related to SIS-II should normally be
included under SO2 (Borders
), we would appreciate to receive further clarifications on the type
of actions envisaged and why Spain believes that they are better placed under SO1.
We note that under National Objective 1 (National Capacity
) Spain includes measures
such as "maintenance /expansion of the network of consular offices”. In principle maintenance
measures should be covered under operating support, in accordance with the ISF-Borders
Regulation. However, if the purchase of equipment is co-financed by the national programme
and in the purchasing contract also the maintenance of the equipment is foreseen, such
measures could indeed be included under this section of the NP.
As regards the National Objective 3 (Consular Cooperation
), Spain seems to have
misunderstood Commission’s request for further information on the third countries where it
sees a potential for consular cooperation, having referred instead to EU MS with whom it sees
such potential. We still would appreciate to receive the requested information. Furthermore,
only a small fraction of the funds (if any) should be spent on meetings, workshops, studies, etc.
If there are real needs and willingness to cooperate it can be done without forums and
SO2 – Borders
As regards this specific objective, we would appreciate to receive further information on
the strategic lines followed by Spain in the implementation of Integrated Border management
(IBM), apart from the strategic document attached to the proposal which elaborates on the
implementation of the Smart Borders Package.
Also, in light of the identified need for increased inter-agency cooperation in EU borders
management, as indicated in the 2013 Guidelines for cooperation between Border Guards and
Customs Administrations, Spain is invited to provide information on the inter-agency customs
cooperation in the actions planned under the national programme (i.e. structured exchange of
information, risk analysis, training, equipment, investigations, operational activities at Border
As regards National Objective 1 (Eurosur
), it is still not clear which national systems will
be connected with Eurosur (first bullet of the funding priorities). As some €14 million are
earmarked for this action, more information would be useful.
We note also that Spain includes as funding priorities for NO1 the “purchase of
equipment for border surveillance, including the purchase and maintenance of aeroplanes and
”. In principle maintenance measures should be covered under operating support, in
accordance with the ISF-Borders Regulation. However, if the purchase of equipment is co-
financed by the national programme and in the purchasing contract it is foreseen also the
maintenance of the equipment, such measures could indeed be included under this section of
As National Objective 2 (Information exchange
) is rather targeted at improving
interagency cooperation (cf. manual on programming) within the country, we invite Spain to
move any references/actions related to information exchange with either other EU MS or third
countries to NO3. Considering the amount earmarked for NO2, we invite Spain to provide an
indicative breakdown of the costs.
Still under NO2, the measures related to EURODAC still need to be better explained in
order to check their eligibility. Given the purposes of EURODAC, measures which are eligible
under ISF-Borders could be for instance the purchase of equipment (e.g. fingerprint scanners) to
be used by border guards at BCPs. Possibilities to finance other types of measures should rather
be explored via other sources, e.g. AMIF.
We would appreciate to receive some explanation on PDYHR and BDSN. If these are
systems, please explain their functions and links with border control and clarify also if they used
for other purposes (different from border control).
As regards National Objective 3 (Common Union Standards
) we recommend Spain to
use the Guidelines for ABC gates when developing the implementation of the system.
As regards National Objective 4 (Union Acquis
), full implementation of crucial horizontal
training projects as the alignment of national curricula to the Sectorial Qualifications Framework
for Border Guarding (SQF) and Fundamental Rights courses should be followed up in the
national programming. We would recommend Spain to include also specialised trainings on
screening and debriefing techniques for improved intelligence gathering at the borders, thus
enabling stronger interviewing and profiling techniques allowing a swifter identification of
migrants at the borders.
As regards National Objective 5 (Future Challenges
), although Spain does provide in a
separate document, as requested, some more information on the crisis centres (national and
regional), it is still not clear how such centres will inter-relate for instance with Eurosur national
and regional coordination centres. The description as provided in this version of the NP clearly
gives the impression that the planned crisis centres would duplicate the functions of the
Eurosur NCC, which was supported with funding from the EBF. In line with the Eurosur
Regulation, the NCC shall be the single point of contact for the exchange of information and for
the cooperation with other national coordination centres and with the Agency. Therefore,
unless Spain provides further information that demonstrates the full compatibility of those crisis
centres with the Eurosur system, the Commission would not consider this action as eligible for
funding under the national programme.
As regards National Objective 6 (National Capacity
), it is still not totally clear which of
the proposed actions are the funding priorities. We note also that no mention continues to be
made of RTP. Also, it would be useful to receive some explanation on the acronyms used in the
programme such as ADEXTTRA.
As regards Specific Action 2 (Frontex Equipment
), please include in this section - and in
the financing plan - the equipment for a total amount of 12.528.000€ that has been approved
for Spain under this Specific Action, respectively: 1 Coastal Patrol Vessel (CPV) (EU co-funding
3.870.000€); 1 Fixed-Wing Aircraft (TWA) (EU co-funding 7.830.000€); 2 All-Terrain Surveillance
Vehicles (ATV) (EU co-funding 828.000€ - 414.000€ each). Additionally, please provide a short
description of that equipment.
SO3 – Operating Support
As regards more specifically operating support for visas, and as noted before, the cost
of training on visa policy should be placed under NO2 of SO1, while building renovations should
be deleted from this section, as it is already foreseen under NO1. Allocation in the annex should
be adjusted accordingly.
In the current context of high migratory pressure at Spain’s enclaves of Ceuta and
Melilla, Spain is invited to provide more information on the measures planned under operating
support for borders concerning the two enclaves. We would also welcome the inclusion in the
programme of funding for the premises in some areas related to the debriefing activities.
SO5 – Preventing and combating crime
As regards National Objective 3 (C-Training
), we invite Spain to add reference to “in
” in the sentence where mention is made to CEPOL. The paragraph should
therefore read as follows: “Se continuará con la formación en la línea de y en cooperación con
la Escuela Europea de Policía (CEPOL) con acciones ajustadas las necesidades reales según el
programa europeo LETS”.
Section 3: Indicative timetable
As regards National Objective 1 (R-prevention and combating
), we note that for the
action “Desarrollo del sistema SCEPYLT” the date for the start of closing phase is currently set to
2017. We suggest, to better ensure the sustainability of the platform, to change that date to
2020 and that the action covers also “formación técnica”, like for the EWS action above.
Section 7: The financing plan of the programme
Spain has included in the programme an amount of 280.800€ for a Specific Action on
consular cooperation led by Belgium. As the EU-contribution for this action will not be allocated
to Spain’s national programme, this amount must be deleted from the financing table.