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Oceans and fisheries

Coast guard cooperation

Adequate maritime security requires excellent cooperation between coast guard authorities, agencies and other bodies at regional, national or European level. That’s why the European Coast Guard Functions Forum (ECGFF) was created in 2009.

European Coast Guard Functions Forum (ECGFF)

Bringing together over 30 national coast guard authorities from EU countries and associated Schengen countries, ECGFF works on collaborative issues such as multi-agency, multinational operations and capacity-building among coast guard academies.

Together with the strong Mediterranean Coast-Guard Cooperation Forum (Med CGFF), this cooperation forum enables coordination of work on specific aspects, such as maritime information sharing, cyber-security, analysis of risks at sea and capacity building.

EU cooperation of coast guard functions

In 2016, 3 EU agencies joined forces to provide enhanced support and assistance to national authorities performing coast guard functions.

Since then, these 3 agencies – the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) have developed, pooled and shared resources, capacities and capabilities.

Their actions address 5 areas at national, EU and - where appropriate - international level

  • information sharing
  • surveillance and communication services
  • capacity building
  • risk analysis
  • capacity sharing


The implementation of the EU cooperation of coast guard functions has already shown a number of results, such as

  • significant economies of scale
  • reduction of overlapping activities
  • multi-purpose maritime operations (MMO)
  • tailor-made information services
  • cross-sector training and capacity building, and
  • sharing of assets and resources, such as aircraft and vessels for maritime surveillance, search and rescue, oil pollution response etc.
  • a handbook for coast guard cooperation