The cooperation with other Agencies and bodies is one of the tools for the Agency to avoid duplication of work and foster synergies in its relevant fields of activities. The cooperation developed by the Agency with different bodies at technical level confirms that EMSA is considered a reliable partner.
In most of the cases the final objective of these cooperation arrangements is to improve the quality of services offered by the Agency to the MemberStates and the Commission, within the limits of its mandate.
Different agreements signed by the Agency relate also to exchange of information and data, relevant in the field of maritime safety, prevention of pollution from ships, pollution preparedness, detection and response.
In 2010 the Agency will continue to focus on maritime surveillance. In fact, as announced by the Commission in the “Blue Book” (An integrated maritime policy for the European Union) presented on 10 October 2007 and in its recent Communication "Towards the integration of maritime surveillance: A common information sharing environment for the EU maritime domain" [COM 2009(538) final], there is a need for developing an horizontal approach and strengthening the cooperation among the different actors involved, including the EU Agencies.
The documents stress the importance of developing horizontal planning tools that cut across sea-related sectoral policies and support joined up policy making. In this context particular relevance is given to a “common information sharing environment for the EU maritime domain”, to ensure the safe use of the sea and to secure Europe’s maritime borders. The Commission sets out the objective of improving and optimising the maritime surveillance activities, and of ensuring interoperability at EU level.
It advocates the need for a higher degree of coordination, through deeper cooperation within and among the Member States’ coastguards and other appropriate agencies. It outlines the importance of a more interoperable surveillance system to bring together existing monitoring and tracking systems used for maritime safety and security, protection of the marine environment, fisheries control, control of external borders and other law enforcement activities.
In this specific framework, the Agency will foster cooperation with the Agencies relevant in the field of maritime surveillance, in particular Frontex and CFCA.
Cooperation with other Agencies may aim as well at rationalising the use of resources: this is the logic followed for the Memorandum of Understanding between EMSA and the CFCA (Community Fisheries Control Agency) in Vigo: the Agency will continue to provide services of Internal Auditor to the CFCA.
EMSA joined also IALA - the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities - as an associate member as from June 2008. In 2010 the Agency will continue to actively contribute to the on-going discussions on e-navigation and vessel traffic services in this international forum.
As agreed by the Equasis Supervisory Committee (see Section 3.7) on 19 June 2008, the Agency will continue to be in charge of managing the Equasis information service.
Since 2009, EMSA started joining IMSO meetings as part of the EC delegation to follow up developments of maritime satellite services provided by IMSO, as LRIT Coordinator. As the EC has decided to apply for Observer status at IMSO, EMSA will continue to participate as a member of the EC delegation.
Discussions began and are ongoing for enhancing cooperation between EMSA and the Black Sea Commission under the framework of MONINFO project funded by the EU. The main foreseen areas of cooperation are on the development of a regional Black Sea AIS network connected to SSN and on potential delivery of CSN services to all Black Sea countries.