Integrated maritime policy for the EU working document I & II

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Courtesy of European Commission

In the Green Paper “Towards a future Maritime Policy for the Union: A European Vision for the Oceans and the Seas”1, the Commission underlined the need for an enhanced cross-border and cross-sectoral cooperation and coordination of the offshore functions carried out by different authorities of the littoral Member States in order to explore how coherence and efficiency of these functions could be increased.

The Blue Paper on an Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union2 indicated the intention by the Commission to further pursue an improved cooperation between Coastguards and other competent agencies. A first step towards the achievement of this goal is hereunder provided through the presentation of a picture of how the responsibilities for ten offshore government activities are allocated in each littoral Member State (Annex I). The definitions for these activities are provided in the Appendix and were given by the members of an interservice group of the Commission for the purpose of this work. In addition, it is noted that while the title of this inventory refers to offshore activities, it is understood that some of these also require certain activity on land. The information in the inventories was furnished by the Member States concerned and indicated in a simple manner the complexity of the institutional situation in the maritime field in EU. It does not indicate the proportion of effort involved by these national authorities. Neither does it explain how the authorities are functioning and cooperating at national level.

An equally important aspect of this objective is the provision of an overall picture of the cross-border cooperation at regional level (namely in the Atlantic Ocean, Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and North Sea, respectively) between the littoral Member States in these activities (presented in Annex II). This particular inventory summarises the bilateral or multilateral agreements concluded between Member States as well as regional agreements applying in these five sea areas around EU (with EU and non-EU Member States participating) as well as other EU initiatives/policies implemented as such. Again the inventory is illustrative rather than complete in terms of providing an actual picture as to how this cross-border cooperation is effected.

This cross-border and cross-sectoral work is considered as supplementary to earlier studies either already conducted by European Agencies (e.g. the FRONTEX feasibility studies on Mediterranean Coastal Patrol Networks (MEDSEA) and the establishment of a surveillance system (BORTEC), the feasibility study for the establishment of the European Community Fisheries Agency) or ongoing studies awaiting finalisation (the European Coast Guard study3). No earlier studies covered such a wide range of government activities. Not all included the new accession countries Romania and Bulgaria or the Black Sea.

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