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
Euronews Ocean: Europe’s coast guards are preparing for the worst-case scenarios to ensure the best outcomes
Europe’s coast guards face many risks to keep our seas secure and safe. Good coordination in an emergency can mean the difference between life and death. To refine their skills and their efficiency, the guards regularly conduct exercises such as COASTEX.
EU agencies meet on future activities of the European Coast Guard
On 11-12 April 2018, the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) hosted the first European Annual Coast Guard event which took place in La Toja, Spain. It was co-organised by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), the European Fisheries Control Agency and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and brought together more than 120 participants from Member States’ national authorities responsible for the various coast guard functions, the three relevant EU Agencies as well as the European Commission.