The cooperation between European maritime authorities shapes up: the Governing Board of the European Coast Guard Functions Training Network has been founded
In a milestone for the European Coast Guard Authorities cooperation, the European Coast Guard Functions Training Network's governing board was founded. The founding meeting of the Governing Board was held on March 8, 2017 in the headquarters of the Finnish Border Guard in Helsinki.
During the founding meeting the Spanish Maritime Safety Agency (SASEMAR) was chosen as the chair of the governing board. Other members of the board are the Finnish Border Guard, the Italian Coast Guard, Guardia Civil (Spain), the Portuguese Guarda Nacional Republicana, the German Federal Police, the UK Maritime and Coast guard agency, the Hellenic Coast Guard, the Spanish Customs and the Cyprus Police academy. In addition the Portuguese Navy and the most relevant Coast Guard Functions EU agencies - the European Border and Coast Guard agency FRONTEX, the European Fisheries Control Agency and the European Maritime Safety Agency - participate as observing members. As a result of the meeting, the ToR of the Governing Board, the annual work plan and the communication guidelines were accepted.
Founded in early 2016, the Training Network enhances the visibility of institutions providing education in the field of Coast Guard Functions and strengthens their cooperation through networking. Until now the Network has been guided by the Finnish Border Guard as a part of the EU-funded European Coast Guard Functions Academy Network II (ECGFA NET II) project. The founding of the Governing Board further strengthens the independence of the Network. The ECGFA NET II project will continue to provide assistance to the network, but the authority and the responsibility to develop the Network are transferred to the Governing Board.
The collaboration is founded on the work conducted by the European Coast Guard Functions Forum, an association of European coast guard functions authorities. This forum seeks to provide a structure for collaboration on maritime issues. The development of training will strengthen operative functions and contribute to the creation of common standards. The Coast Guard Functions include the following responsibilities that require special expertise: maritime safety; maritime search and rescue; maritime monitoring and surveillance; maritime border control; maritime environmental protection and response (including oil spill clean-up); maritime custom activities; fisheries inspection and control; the prevention and suppression of trafficking and smuggling and connected maritime law enforcement.