Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, has joined the European Maritime Safety Agency and the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) at the annual event on coast guard functions. The main theme this year was the “Use of digital age technologies in Coast Guard functions”.
The event, this year hosted virtually by EFCA, provides a platform for national authorities, the EU agencies involved and the European Commission to exchange views on matters related to cooperation on coast guard functions.
The three maritime agencies took stock of the achievements of the year, with a highlight on the preparation of the EU Coast Guard Handbook and the activities in support of national authorities during 2021.
The event focused on available digital age technologies and their relevance to enhance the “European common maritime situation awareness pictures” and the support to the European Union Member States authorities, in line with the EU Maritime Security Strategy.
Particular focus was placed on the implementation of the different EU Coast Guard functions in the post-pandemic era.
The pandemic highlighted the fact that digital tools are key to combining the information shared by Member States and the data made available through the EU Agencies. One example of this is the development of “early bird awareness” based upon a robust geographical information system [GIS].
The maritime agencies, participating Member States and the European Commission also assessed the challenges related to the integration of different sources of information, evaluating solutions such as the automated analysis and monitoring of behaviors, as well as the possible assistance of Artificial Intelligence to process and analyze high volumes of data.