The project initially was called “EuroBoundaries” and has been defined through the year 2004, by a team of boundary experts from the European countries: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland (the core team), and of course with a representative from EuroGeographics (EG).  

For approaching this new issue the core team decided to install two working groups: one for administrative issues to make a survey of the European state boundaries’ management and a second one for technical issues to develop a data model for the future boundary data base. The “EuroBoundaries Project Initiation Document” developed by the core team together with EG was the base for the continuous progress of this project.

The aim of “phase 1” of this project was to develop the data model and guidelines, test it and prepare it for the practical use. The data model consists of two parts, one for registering the boundary data and one for edge matching.

It was clear from the very beginning that this project will not make its own ‘choices’ wherever there are political issues or disagreements on the position of a segment of the national boundary line; and it is not envisaged that EG or this project will directly influence any of the bilateral or joint boundary commissions that address boundary definition issues between two countries.

The State Boundaries of Europe Project is now starting "phase 2" of the project which means to become operational with boundary data on the base of the agreements between (i) EuroGeographics and swisstopo for implementing and running the SBE database, and between (ii) EuroGeographics and the Project Partners for boundary data provision.

In addition the SBE project shall investigate the potential of incorporating the international maritime boundaries because this domain was asked by some countries during phase 1 already.

It is a permanent task of the project team to examine the needs of users and customers of boundary data, keep contact to INSPIRE and GMES, and support the ESDIN project by facilitating the effective and efficient EdgeMatching of features at boundaries. There is already a close contact to FRONTEX and EUROSUR, the EU-initiatives for guarding the borders on land and on sea.

Besides these activities the SBE project tries to keep contact to other organizations dealing with national boundaries and to contribute to international conferences with presentations on boundary matters.