Wednesday 17 April 2024

ODYSSEUS project presented at the STS MigTec Network annual workshop meeting

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On 9 April 2024, the UIC Security Division, represented by Kacper Kubrak, Senior Advisor, took part in the STS-MigTec Annual Workshop 2024 at Utrecht University, in the Netherlands. The event was entitled “Data Matters in Migration and Border Control” with around 80 participants from 25 countries attending, both in-person and online.

STS-MigTec serves as an independent network, bringing together academics while merging science and technology studies with migration and border issues. The network facilitates global scientific exchanges, hosts events, and coordinates publication initiatives to address contemporary challenges in migration and border control.

During the panel discussion, which focused on the legal challenges in datafying EU migration and asylum and border control, Kubrak presented a paper which is currently in progress entitled “Railway security checks at the border: between intrusive security technologies and fundamental traveller rights”, which he has been co-writing with Grigore Havarneanu, UIC Senior Research Advisor.

The paper explores finding the balance between security and freedom of movement at European railway borders, the UIC-documented lessons learned during different migration and refugee crises, as well as the UIC Security Division’s involvement in the EU-funded Horizon Europe project ODYSSEUS. This project aims to improve the border crossing experience for travellers and border authority staff, while maintaining security and monitoring movement across EU-external land and sea borders.

The discussion on this paper ended with the consideration that cross-border movement, whether planned or forced, subjects passengers to a myriad of security measures. This reality necessitates a delicate balance between passenger security and the protection of fundamental rights, particularly in light of technological advancements and globalisation. The audience were also able to provide constructive feedback for the further development of the paper.

The UIC Security Division is involved in the ODYSSEUS project as a passenger train pilot project coordinator. The pilot project will evaluate certain technologies during a real-life scenario organised at a railway border crossing point. The rail pilot project will take place in the first quarter of 2025 and preparation will commence this summer.

The ODYSSEUS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement N°101073910.

You can follow ODYSSEUS on Twitter/X (@odysseus_heu), LinkedIn (, and via the project website

For further information, please contact Grigore Havarneanu, UIC Senior Security Research Advisor and UIC main contact person, at

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Kacper Kubrak giving a presentation on ODYSSEUS during the workshop