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Friday, 20 November 2009

Council conclusions on integration of maritime surveillance

The 2974th External Relations Council meeting held in Brussels on 17 November 2009 welcomed the work done under the Swedish Presidency and calls for further work on the idea of establishing an integrated approach to maritime surveillance, through a common information sharing environment in order to promote more interoperability and make best use of existing systems on a cross-sectoral basis, and facilitate safe and secure exchange of information while ensuring complementarity of efforts, thus improving safety, security, cost effectiveness and efficiency, maritime situational awareness, and the facilitation of maritime transport calling at a European port or passing through European waters or its approaches. The Council urged the Commission, in close cooperation with the Member States, to improve coordination between different sectors in the field of maritime surveillance, and to give priority to the development of a general framework, including common standards and protocols to ensure cost-effective and efficient interoperability and adaptability of existing systems as well as cooperation, taking into account the international standards being developed for information sharing amongst different sectors, where appropriate, as well as the experiences gained from relevant projects and research. The Council supported the establishment of the Commissions' expert group with Member States representatives on the integration of maritime surveillance acting as a forum for coordination, in association with other relevant EU bodies and stressed the need to investigate an appropriate legal framework.

Source: Council of the EU