The Closing Workshop of the pilot project "Creation of a European coastguard function" gathered more than 110 participants from various European and national entities at the premises of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in Lisbon. During the event the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) and EMSA jointly presented the project results.
The 18 months pilot project was launched in January 2016 in order to provide the test bed for the co-operation mechanism proposed by the Commission within the framework of the European border and coastguard package.
The Executive Directors of the three European agencies agreed that the project had demonstrated that there was greater effectiveness when the agencies worked together. The sharing of information, combined use of surveillance capabilities, multipurpose operations can better support the national authorities of European Member States when implementing coast guard functions.
In the framework of the project the three Agencies explored and tested ways to further enhance their cooperation in four areas:
- sharing of information generated by fusing and analysing vessel movement and earth observation data
- providing surveillance and communication services based on state-of-the-art technology
- capacity building
- capacity sharing including multipurpose operations and the sharing of assets and capabilities across sectors and borders
The enhanced cooperation among EMSA, EFCA and Frontex will enable them to support in an effective and cost-efficient way the activities of more than 300 civilian and military authorities in the EU Member States responsible for carrying out coastguard functions in a wide range of areas such as maritime safety, security, search and rescue, border control, fisheries control, customs control, general law enforcement and environmental protection.