Maritime Surveillance in the Northern Sea Basins – ('MARSUNO') - was a 24-month pilot project initiated by the EU Commission involving 9 Member States: Sweden as lead partner, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, in partnership with Norway, inviting Russia as an observer. In total 24 public authorities were involved. The project's objective was to support the creation of the 'CISE' by identifying practical solutions to overcome legal, technical and administrative hurdles to cross-sectorial and cross-border information sharing between maritime authorities. Indeed, 'CISE' is to become a legal, technical and cultural environment allowing for such information exchange between all relevant sectorial maritime authorities throughout the EU/EEA.
MARSUNO is one of two dedicated pilot projects that feed the Commission's six step Roadmap process towards establishing CISE. MARSUNO's recommendations are summarised as follows:
Sten Tolgfors, Swedish Minister for Defence commented on the results of the project: “The Swedish presidency 2009 focused on issues related to integrated maritime policy as well as integrated maritime surveillance. Developing these areas is and must be a key priority within the EU. The MARSUNO project has pointed out how such a cooperation and exchange of information can be shared between authorities and countries. Information sharing via existing structures instead of building new ones, gives us cost benefits and a more efficient maritime surveillance, a safer sea and environment.“
Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, complemented the countries on their success: “I congratulate the Member States for their sustained effort and that they have demonstrated that data-sharing across borders and across sectors like maritime transport, environmental protection, customs, border guarding, fishery inspection, law enforcement and defence is possible and improves reaction capacity. Our objective is to ensure safer seas while saving costs – the results of this pilot will now feed into setting up the EU-wide Common Information Sharing Environment.”
MARSUNO concludes that establishing a functional and efficient CISE for all authorities acting in the European maritime domain is crucial for enhancing the efficiency and cost effectiveness of maritime surveillance. CISE will be a concrete and tangible outcome of Europe's Integrated Maritime Policy.