|Sponsor: The European Commission|
The European Commission
Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
Europe has a 70 000 km coastline along two oceans and four seas: the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. The European Union’s (EU) maritime regions account for some 40% of its GDP and population. Europe's well-being, safety and security are therefore inextricably linked with the sea.
The Blue Paper on an EU Maritime Policy adopted by the Commission in October 2007 considers (1) the improvement of the cross-border and cross-sectoral cooperation between all actors involved in offshore activities, and (2) the progressive integration of existing or future sectoral surveillance systems, so as to enhance both the effectiveness and the cost-efficiency of actions carried out at sea. These objectives are regarded as key to the achievement of an integrated policy-making both by the Commission and the Member States.
Surveillance activities are carried out by Member States but most of the activities and threats that they address are transnational in nature. Within most Member States surveillance activities concerning fisheries, the environment, policing of the seas including traffic monitoring, or border control fall under the responsibility of several different enforcement agencies operating independently from each other. This often results in sub-optimal use of scarce resources.
In February 2008, the Commission published a set of three working documents taking stock of the status of offshore surveillance, monitoring, tracking and reporting activities in the Member States. The first document establishes which authority in each coastal Member State is responsible for ten offshore activities (customs, border control, Marine pollution, fisheries control, maritime safety, maritime security, vessel traffic management, accident and disaster response, search and rescue, law enforcement).
The second describes the existing cross-border cooperation in these areas between the Member States in five sea regions (Atlantic Ocean, Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and North Sea) on the basis of information provided by national authorities.
The third working document provides a description of the maritime surveillance systems currently operating at EU level. It is not an exhaustive list and, since it was published, there should been several exchanges between the Member States and the Commission on experiences gained in integrating maritime surveillance systems. Member States are currently contributing to ensuring that this information is kept up to date in the follow-up to the Commission’s Communication on Governance.
Additionally, there are a number of projects, activities and studies relevant to maritime surveillance which are supported by different Directorate-Generals: European Commission -research projects such as MARISS, LIMES, TANGO, MARNIS, EUROSUR or the Framework Programme 7 project OPERAMAR. The Commission has also commissioned a study by an external consultant entitled "Legal Aspects of Maritime Monitoring and Surveillance data submitted to the European Commission in November 2008".An overview of existing surveillance and monitoring activities at national and Community level is available on: http://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/pdf/maritime_surveillance_non_paper.pdf
Website of the DG MARE: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/fisheries/index_en.htm
|Mise à jour le Mercredi, 13 Janvier 2010 17:03|