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Oceans and fisheries
Nyhet20 juli 2021Generaldirektoratet för havsfrågor och fiske

A practical guide for EU cooperation on coast guard activities

The European Commission has adopted a ‘Practical Handbook’ for closer cooperation between coast guard functions across the EU.


The handbook will improve cross-border and cross-sector collaboration between civilian and military authorities carrying out coast guard functions. It has been developed between the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), together with Member States’ experts.

The handbook provides a compilation of services and relevant information available through the three agencies, including cooperation frameworks, training courses, best practice guidelines and manuals of all inter-agency activities supporting coast guard functions in EU countries. Country factsheets provide details on the structure and organisation of coast guard functions in EU countries and EFTA States. Over autumn 2021, an online platform will be launched by EFCA, supported by the other two agencies and the Commission. The platform will contain the practical information offered by the handbook, continuously updated by the three agencies, with input from the national authorities, to further improve the coast guard cooperation across the EU.


A safe and secure maritime space is crucial to protect the EU’s strategic interests such as freedom of navigation, external border control or the supply of essential materials. Moreover it is a prerequisite for developing European economic activities at sea and on shore, called the blue economy.  The cooperation on coast guard activities at EU and Member States level will contribute to this safe and secure maritime space, as highlighted in the EU maritime security strategy and its revised action plan. Therefore, the legal acts of the three agencies (EFCA, EMSA and Frontex) had set the obligation for a “Practical Handbook”, in order to facilitate the cooperation between the relevant national and EU authorities and bodies carrying out coast guard functions.

More information

20 JULI 2021
Commission recommendation establishing a ‘Practical Handbook’ on European cooperation on coast guard functions
(307.1 KB - PDF)
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20 JULI 2021
Annex to the Commission Recommendation establishing a "Practical Handbook" on European cooperation on coast guard functions
(262.42 KB - PDF)
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Coast guard cooperation

Maritime security strategy

Sustainable blue economy


20 juli 2021
Generaldirektoratet för havsfrågor och fiske