Visit to the European Maritime Safety Agency
LISBON – On 11 July
2019, a delegation from Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO)
visited the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).
Both STRIKFORNATO and EMSA
recognize it is critical to their mission to have real time and reliable
information about activities at sea. Hence, this visit served to better
understand each other’s organization, roles, mission, capabilities, and goals,
as a step-stone to explore opportunities of future cooperation.
The creation of an institution
like EMSA within the European Union became critical after two accidents resulted
in oil spills in the Atlantic Ocean, Erika (1999) and Prestige (2002), which
brought environmental and economic damage to the French and Spanish coastlines
but also, politically, reinforced the trans-border and transnational dimension
of maritime pollution. Better
preparation to combat oil spills would then extend beyond the individual member
states’ resources and capabilities.
Today, the Agency provides
tailor-made services, tools, data, and information products to deliver a comprehensive
maritime picture, through an Integrated Maritime Services (IMS) platform guided
by the principles of integration, interoperability, and harmonization. Through
IMS services, EMSA aims to promote and increase national, regional, and local
cooperation, contribute to enhance the maritime picture, and respond to the
detailed needs and requirements as specified by users, in a setting that is
easy, fast and cost-effective to run. While these services are primarily
provided to the EU member states authorities, IMS follows a functional approach
and can also be offered to non-EU countries (e.g. Norway and Iceland) and to
all authorities and organizations executing functions in the maritime domain.
With this modus operandi, the Agency is able to provide technical and
operational assistance in the development and implementation of EU legislation
on maritime safety and security, combat maritime oil pollution, as well as
provide vessel monitoring and long range vessel identification and tracking.
Currently, EMSA has total of 3366
users, 243 of which are military or defence authorities, across 27 European