EFCA launched the online platform hosting the Practical Handbook on Coast Guard Functions during the Annual European Coast Guard Event in Lisbon (Portugal), on 27 - 28 of June 2023. The European platform is operated by EFCA in close cooperation with EMSA, Frontex, and the European Commission, and is available at https://coastguard.europa.eu.
The online platform hosting the interactive Handbook is designed as a practical tool for European civilian and military authorities, facilitating cross-border and cross-sector collaboration. It contains interactive catalogues with guidelines and recommendations, services, and training courses offered through the cooperation of the three agencies. It also includes interactive factsheets presenting the authorities involved in coast guard functions in the Member States with a coastline, as well as the EFTA states Iceland and Norway.
In addition, the platform provides a compilation of the cooperation mechanisms and agreements related to the maritime domain where Member States, the EU or EFTA states are members, at bilateral, multilateral, regional and international level. An interactive map displays the national and regional authorities and allows filtering according to the visitor’s interest.
The three EU agencies, EFCA, EMSA and Frontex, work closely under the inter-agency cooperation framework, to provide support and assistance to the national authorities performing coast guard functions at national and European level.
The scope of the platform includes information pertaining to the five cooperation areas of the three agencies: information sharing, surveillance and communication services, capacity building, risk analysis, and capacity sharing.
The online platform will be further developed during the following years in close consultation with Member States national authorities and will incorporate more tools and information with the aim to facilitate and promote the European cooperation on coast guard functions. Information concerning the recently launched Coast Guard Exchange Programme is planned to be made available on this online platform.
“This portal provides a common space for all competent authorities involved in coast guard functions in Europe. It is a tangible tool for sharing resources and exchange, going a step further in the cooperation,¨ said Susan Steele, EFCA Executive Director.