ECGFA NET project
ECGFA NET I Project Results
The EU funded 14 month-long European Coast Guard Functions Academy Network Project (ECGFA NET) was completed in February of 2016, taking EU’s maritime training cooperation an important step forward. A new cooperation framework was launched: European Coast Guard Functions Training Network (ECGF Training Network). This Network can be joined by those training institutes that offer training in coast guard functions and operate in the member countries of the European Coast Guard Functions Forum. The Network will increase the visibility of the various coast guard functions related agencies and educational institutions, contributing positively to the exchange of information and best practices via networking. ECGF Training Network will create a solid foundation for maritime collaboration in the sphere of European training and security.
Another main result of the project was the opening of a European Coast Guard Functions Training Portal (ECGF Training Portal) which disseminates information on available courses, training and exchange opportunities, and on various events and news related to coast guard functions related training. The portal can be accessed at www.ecgff-trainingportal.eu and is available to the members of the ECGF Training Network.
Within the scope of this project, work was also begun to harmonise the training of the coast guard functions sector through the defining of the grounds for the Sectoral Qualification Framework for Coast Guard Functions (CGFSQF). The end goal of the CGFSQF is to function as a set of common standards for CGF education, to be applied on a voluntary basis in order to assure quality of training and teaching. The work on the development of CGFSQF is a multi-year task, and the outcome of this project was the first step in this process – defining of the basic elements, key recommendations and methodology for the further development of the CGFSQF. Project also developed recommendations on a pilot ECGF Exchange Programme which is to facilitate the creation of professional contacts and increase the sharing of knowledge and skills in the CGF sector. Moreover, as a result of the project, there was developed general training recommendations for EU and 3rd countries. With the launching of the ECGF Training Network and related Training Portal as well the development of the student and expert exchange and the CGFSQF, the ECGFA NET project directly contributes to the advancement of EU’s maritime policy and in particular, to the implementation of the EUMSS Action Plan and Feasibility Study on CG Functions Cooperation. These EU’s maritime policy documents identified actions similar to the results of the project, inter alia, a need on building a training network, to place online information about coast guard training institutions and to explore exchanges among civil-military officers from Member States. The ECGFA NET project was a joint effort of a number of European Coast Guard functions agencies. Whilst the Finnish Border Guard was in charge of the general coordination as well as for the establishment of the ECGF Training Network and development of recommendations in relation to ECGF Exchange Programme and training, the Spanish Maritime Safety Agency SASEMAR was responsible for the construction of the Training Portal and Italian Coast Guard for the CGFSQF work. Moreover, a total of fourteen CGF authorities, representing eleven EU member states, took active part in the project. The project included also seven observers, including a number of EU agencies. Collaboration was founded on the work conducted by the European Coast Guard Functions Forum, an association of European coast guard functions authorities. This forum seeks to provide a structure for collaboration on maritime issues. The Coast Guard Functions include the following: maritime safety; maritime search and rescue; maritime monitoring and surveillance; maritime border control; maritime environmental protection and response (including oil spill clean-up); maritime custom activities; fisheries inspection and control; the prevention and suppression of trafficking and smuggling and connected maritime law enforcement.
For more information on the network, portal and project, please visit www.ecgff-trainingportal.eu