Integrated maritime surveillance is about providing authorities interested or active in maritime surveillance with ways to exchange information and data. Sharing data will make surveillance cheaper and more effective. Currently, EU and national authorities responsible for different aspects of surveillance, e.g. border control, safety and security, fisheries control, customs, environment or defence, collect data separately and often do not share them. As a result, the same data may be collected more than once.
A common information-sharing environment (CISE) is currently being developed jointly by the European Commission and EU/EEA members with the support of relevant agencies such as the EFCA. It will integrate existing surveillance systems and networks and give all those authorities concerned access to the information they need for their missions at sea. The CISE will make different systems interoperable so that data and other information can be exchanged easily through the use of modern technologies. The EFCA is represented in the CISE technical advisory group.
In the framework of developing the CISE, the EFCA participates in the ‘EUCISE2020’ security research project of the European Seventh Framework Programme. It aims at achieving the pre-operational information sharing between the maritime authorities of the European states. EUCISE2020 is an important milestone in the roadmap for implementation of the European CISE. The CISE supports the development of the Blue Economy of the European Union, is a key innovation of the European maritime governance, is an element of the European Digital Agenda, and, finally, is a pillar of the European action plan for the European maritime security strategy.