Visit to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)

SFN delegation visiting EMSA’s Maritime Support Services Operations Centre
Jul 16, 2019

Lisbon, Portugal – 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 countries.


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