Recognising the benefits of exchanging information between different government entities and ensuring more effective integration of maritime information is a key element within the Commission’s Integrated Maritime Policy. EMSA is uniquely positioned to help the Commission achieve this aim.
Firstly, as an operational agency of the EU, EMSA has in-depth understanding of the maritime situation in and around EU waters. Experience dealing with a variety of both safety and security related concerns from legal and operational perspectives has given EMSA extensive knowledge about many of the issues which arise, and about the practical realities of addressing these.
Secondly, EMSA operates and manages a suite of systems which receive, process, and distribute information on vessel traffic reports (LRIT, SafeSeaNet), satellite monitoring (CleanSeaNet), and Port State Control (Thetis). The services produced by these systems are shared with Member States and the Commission, to supplement and enhance national capacity for vessel traffic monitoring, Port State Control, and maritime pollution preparedness and response. Although the focus is predominantly on maritime safety, these services could also be useful in future for obtaining a clearer picture of a broad range of activities in the maritime domain, building a common picture across EU maritime interests. Enabling governmental and institutional organisations to make use of EMSA’s systems would help avoid duplication of effort, overlapping infrastructures and unnecessary expenditures.
Thirdly, through cooperative working relationships with Member States, the Commission, and other EU bodies, EMSA has been able to successfully contribute and respond to initiatives developed at EU, regional and national levels.