CISE-ALERT workshop at the European Maritime Day held on 30 May 2024

The first operational exchanges between maritime surveillance systems using CISE were the highlight of this year’s CISE-ALERT workshop held on 30 May at the European Maritime Day in Svendborg, Denmark. This special workshop was organised by maritime authorities from Bulgaria, France, Greece, Italy and Slovenia within the scope of the CISE-ALERT project, and in cooperation with SatCen, EMSA and the European Commission’s DG MARE.


The European Maritime Day (EMD) is an annual event for Europe’s maritime community and provides an opportunity to present the most exciting projects and initiatives in the EU maritime domain. Therefore, the Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE), as one of the flagship projects of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE), was presented during a dedicated workshop. The workshop was particularly interesting as for the first time a real cross-border and cross-sector exchange of information between maritime operational centres with the use of CISE was showcased.

In the opening remarks, Mr Christos Economou, Deputy Director of DG MARE and Head of Unit Sea Basin Strategies, Maritime Regional Cooperation and Maritime Security, underlined that the more EU/EEA Member States’ maritime authorities join CISE the better results can be achieved jointly. Mr Economou pointed to the deliverables of the CISE-ALERT project, in particular the outcomes of the operational trials testing the use of CISE, as an important catalyst for enlarging the CISE community. Mr Economou also underlined the critical value of CISE in building a more enhanced awareness picture within different sea basins around Europe, which is possible through close cooperation and information sharing among all maritime authorities operating in the same sea basins.

Further, Mr Gianluca Luraschi, Project Manager for CISE at EMSA, emphasized the need for a more horizontal approach in dealing with different maritime threats that are increasingly becoming cross-border and cross-sectoral issues. As an example, in the protection of maritime critical infrastructure it is essential to gather information from all the available sources to prevent and respond to such threats.

The simplicity and seamlessness of the information sharing via CISE was demonstrated by Lt Col Anthimos Tsirigotis from the Hellenic Ministry of National Defence. Mr Tsirigotis presented footage of a simulated scenario concerning an illegal migration situation at sea in which CISE is used by the operators at the Hellenic Fleet Headquarters. The video showcases CISE as a common tool that can be used by any EU/EEA maritime authority in their maritime surveillance operations. It demonstrates the new way in which maritime authorities can now work together to respond to any event at sea in a timely and effective manner.

During the workshop, other types of information exchanges and use cases to be considered in CISE were discussed. Mr Denis Bruckert, Head of Copernicus Unit at European Union Satellite Center (SatCen), presented the SatCen participation in the CISE-ALERT exercise and the successful exchange of information through the CISE Node. Moreover, Mr Bruckert informed about the signature in March 2023 of MASUR bi-lateral agreement with the European Defence Agency (EDA) that includes provisions for the connection between CISE and MARSUR networks through a bridging Node hosted by SatCen, which will contribute to a closer civil-military cooperation in the spirit of the EUMSS. Furthermore, Mr Miran Bordon, Head of development and EU project section at Slovenian Maritime Administration, explained how CISE can help to better protect maritime critical infrastructures. Mr Bordon summarised that CISE provides a sharing facilitation tool supporting maritime surveillance and emergency response activities, as well as being an element which promotes regional cooperation and regular exercises.

The participants to the workshop could also learn more about the CISE-ALERT project which was presented by Ms Florence Wagner and Ms Linda Bama from the French Secretariat general for the Sea. Ms Wagner and Ms Bama explained that the project’s goal is to further use CISE to facilitate the coordination of operational response thanks to information sharing among Maritime Operations Centres. The CISE-ALERT consortium has developed various operational scenarios, involving maritime authorities and EU Agencies from a number of countries, that are now being tested in a series of operational trials.

Other topics covered by the workshop concerned the use of EU funding in the implementation of CISE presented by Silviya Diyanova-Georgieva, Chief expert, “Projects” Unit at the Bulgarian executive Agency “Maritime Administration” (EAMA). Moreover, Ms Mojca Obid from the Slovenian Maritime Administration and Massimo Calabrese from the Italian Space Agency announced the upcoming events and developments, including the Show Case Event planned on 11-12 September in Rome in the ASI Headquarters.

We hope to see you next time at the European Maritime Day in Cork in 2025!



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