On March 18, three European agencies took a significant step towards strengthening the European cooperation on coast guard functions. The Directors of Frontex – the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) signed a new working arrangement that will structure their work related to supporting national authorities in increasing the safety and security at sea.
This includes tasks such as search and rescue, border control, fisheries control, customs activities, law enforcement and environmental protection.
The working arrangement covers cooperation on risk analysis and information exchange on threats in the maritime domain, as well as information sharing in compliance with fundamental rights, data protection requirements, and access rights. The document also provides indications on collaboration for surveillance and communication services, and capacity building activities, as well as sharing of capacities.
The first tripartite working arrangement between Frontex, EFCA and EMSA was concluded and entered into force on March 18 2017 for a duration of four years. Since 2017, the three agencies have been cooperating to enhance the support provided to the national authorities carrying out coast guard functions in sharing maritime information, providing new surveillance and communication services, building capacity, analyzing operational challenges and emerging risks in the maritime domain as well as by developing multipurpose maritime operations.