Designed to meet the new challenges and political realities faced by the EU, both as regards migration and internal security, the European Border and Coast Guard will be composed of a newly created European Border and Coast Guard Agency and the national authorities and coastguards responsible for border management.
The legislative package adopted today seeks to enhance and reinforce cooperation in order to support national authorities carrying out coastguard functions. The cooperation will include sharing information on ships and movements, providing surveillance and communication services including space-based infrastructures, sensors and drones, as well as capacity building and sharing, which also includes joint risk assessment and operations at sea.
Within this framework, the European Fisheries Control Agency will contribute substantially to improving border control: by sharing information, assets and intelligence with the new European Border and Coast Guard Agency and with the European Maritime Safety Agency. The European Fisheries Control Agency has particular know-how and experience in the global fight against illegal fishing, which is often related to other criminal activities such as drug trafficking or smuggling of people and of weapons or other goods. Thanks to its international mandate, it has already developed a privileged network with third countries, in particular with Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Albania, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
Coastguard authorities carry out operational activities at sea, including border control, but also activities regarding maritime transport, fisheries control, customs, and marine pollution. Today's legislative package therefore enhances the EU's response capacity at sea not only in relation to border management, but also to threats and risks of other major crisis situations at sea.