The role of CISE in the updated EUMSS and its Action Plan
The European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy adopted on 10 March 2023 a Joint Communication on the update of the EU Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS) and its Action Plan. The Joint Communication and its Action Plan identify CISE as a key deliverable to upgrade the EU maritime domain awareness and then contribute to an enhanced maritime security.
Based on the initial EUMSS adopted in 2014, following the Council Conclusions on maritime security of June 2021, and the adoption of the Strategic Compass of March 2022, the updated EUMSS identifies the need for new and enhanced action to respond to the growing and evolving challenges in maritime security.
Security threats have multiplied since the adoption of the EUMSS in 2014. Long-standing illicit activities, such as piracy, armed robbery at sea, smuggling of migrants and trafficking of human beings, arms and narcotics, as well as terrorism remain critical challenges. At the same time, new and evolving threats must also be dealt with, in a context of increasing geopolitical competition, climate change and environmental degradation, growing hybrid and cyber-attacks, often targeting critical infrastructure.
The Joint Communication underlines that “sound maritime domain awareness is vital to ensuring that competent authorities can swiftly detect the growing and evolving threats affecting the EU and respond to them effectively” and that “The EU will lead in maritime domain awareness by enhancing information collection and exchange among different maritime sectors and facilitating information sharing between Member States”. In this context the Communication highlights the key role of CISE, which will facilitate real-time information sharing between different authorities responsible for coast guard functions, including the military, connecting concerned authorities within and across Member States.
The updated EUMSS and its Action commit to launch the operational phase of CISE in 2024, including the implementation of the CISE classified network, encouraging and supporting the participation in CISE of all the EU/EEA authorities with responsibility in maritime surveillance. Moreover, the Action Plan envisages the use of CISE in the context of the protection of critical maritime infrastructure, enhanced inter-agency information sharing among EMSA, EFCA and Frontex, and among civil and military maritime authorities, particularly between the MARSUR network and CISE. CISE is also mentioned in relation to EUROSUR Fusion services and information exchange capabilities.
For detailed information about the Joint Communication on the revised EUMSS and its background please consult the European Commission’s press release: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_23_1483