The European Commission has adopted a ‘Practical Handbook’ for European cooperation on coast guard activities to facilitate the cooperation of EU civilian and military authorities in their efforts to increase safety and security at sea.
The document was developed by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) in close cooperation with EU member states, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states and with the support of the European Commission. All three agencies are involved to varying degrees in European cooperation on coast guard functions, which includes tasks such as search and rescue, maritime safety, border control, fisheries control, customs activities, law enforcement, and environmental protection.
The guide includes information on the services provided by the three agencies, cooperation frameworks, best practice guidelines, as well as country factsheets with details on the structure and organization of coast guard functions in both EU countries and EFTA states.
Later this year, an online platform will be launched by the three agencies and the European Commission, with input from the national authorities.
Thanks to the new handbook, member states and EU agencies will be able to better coordinate their efforts in making the seas around Europe safer.
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) is a decentralized agency of the EU, based in Lisbon, Portugal. EMSA serves the EU’s maritime interests for a safe, secure, green, and competitive maritime sector, delivering value for member states through support for pollution prevention and response, maritime surveillance, safety and security, digitalization, and the provision of integrated maritime services, and technical assistance.