With a view to reinforcing European cooperation on Coast guard functions, EFCA’s founding regulation was amended in September 2016 entrusting EFCA — together with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) — to support national authorities carrying out coast guard functions at national and Union level and where appropriate at international level.
This new cooperation was tested through a pilot project in 2016-2017, that showed the advantages to this cooperation. You can find the report here.
The three agencies define the modalities of their enhanced cooperation in a Tripartite Working Arrangement (TWA) which needs to be approved by their governing boards. The first TWA entered into force in March 2017 for a period of four years and, in March 2021, a new TWA was agreed and entered into force replacing for an indefinite period the first TWA. In accordance with the provisions of the TWA, a Steering Committee and Technical Subcommittees were established to manage the collaboration at strategic and technical level respectively.
The following five areas for improved interagency cooperation were defined:
- Area 1 - Information sharing
- Area 2 - Surveillance and communication services
- Area 3 - Capacity building
- Area 4 - Risk analysis
- Area 5 - Capacity sharing
The support to coast guard functions will promote cooperation between the three agencies to provide assistance to Member States national authorities in the implementation of the Coast Guard functions. EFCA involves Member State authorities and promotes the implementation of multipurpose operations in the areas where a JDP or an operational plan is established.
EFCA operates inspection assets in different areas that might contribute to multipurpose operations agreed with other Agencies and the Member States concerned (information about EFCA chartered means).