Conclusions and way ahead

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The conference took place in Warsaw on 22 – 23 April 2009. During the conference the participants discussed different issues related to maritime domain such as inter¬agency cooperation and multifunctional performance. The purpose of the conference was to build up a "melting pot" for coast guard practitioners to develop a joint approach to the future challenges in the fields of maritime border security, maritime safety, SAR, environmental and other maritime issues as well as to enhance coordination and coherence of the activities among the Member States and relevant EU bodies.

Participants of the conference support the following conclusions by respecting national responsibilities:

  • Protection of lives and the respect of fundamental rights demand utmost effort of all parties involved
  • Cross sectoral and cross border cooperation should be promoted
  • Member States should pay attention to further enhancing the operational cooperation of the different national authorities involved in maritime surveillance in order to avoid duplication and overlapping activities
  • More coordinated actions should be taken in order to develop the interagency cooperation both at national and EU¬levels within existing EU initiatives (EU integrated maritime policy, SafeSeaNet and EUROSUR). In this respect, practical cooperation and the coordination of activities among CFCA, EMSA and Frontex is indispensable.
  • Concrete steps should be taken towards more interoperable surveillance system to bring together existing monitoring and tracking systems used for maritime safety and security, SAR activities, protection of marine environment, fisheries control, control of external borders and other law enforcement activities for enhancing the situational awareness and cost effectiveness
  • European Patrols Network is recommended to be further developed and extended to cover further maritime areas for facilitating the cooperation between authorities and Member States
  • Surveillance information collected for civilian and military purposes should within the legal framework be shared regularly on a need¬to¬know basis between law enforcement and military authorities to avoid duplication and to be cost effective
  • There is a need to establish a common information sharing environment to better manage the activities of maritime authorities
  • Security research programmes carried out under the seventh framework programme for research and development (FP 7) dealing with maritime surveillance should ensure a close cooperation in order to meet the operational needs of Member States' authorities
  • Common standards should be developed to promote technical interoperability and to facilitate the coordination of joint European operations
  • Improved management of available European assets and innovative and flexible financial solutions are required to better tackle the threats on the operational areas
  • Cooperation with third countries of interest for EU Member States is crucial to handle the security threats and challenges of the EU including SAR activities; specific fields of cooperation and assistance with feasible chance for cross border crime prevention might be the centers of gravity.
  • The conference for the heads of European coast guards will be arranged annually
  • CFCA, EMSA and Frontex could together provide necessary support
  • Secretariat for the Conference shall be established. Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Sweden shall form the core group of the first Secretariat. Secretariat shall develop a proposal on how to organize its work.
  • The Conference can prepare and give its input on issues related to the maritime domain and especially Coast Guard related tasks to EU institutions and agencies

DISCLAIMER:

This document cannot be construed as automatically constituting any form of commitment by Frontex, unless its contents clearly indicate otherwise.

The European Commission and France fully reserve their possition on these conclusiuons for the time being.

© Forum of the Heads of the Coast Guards
Functions of the European Union and
Schengen associated countries