13th CISE Stakeholder Group meeting held on 21 June 2023
The CISE Stakeholder Group (CSG) gathered for the 13th time to present and discuss the different pre-operational activities in view of the approaching Operational Phase of CISE, starting in 2024. More than 60 nominated experts and observers from 16 Member States and 7 European bodies participated in the meeting via videoconference on 21 June.
The meeting focused on the latest developments and advances in the implementation of CISE. The CSG Chairman Mr Leendert Bal, Head of Department Safety, Security and Surveillance at EMSA opened the meeting by informing the CSG about the recent good results, including the signature of the Cooperation Agreement by another two stakeholders: the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) and Cyprus. Moreover, Mr Bal added that the CISE network has been expanded by another two operational nodes installed by Cyprus and Belgium, giving a total of 13 nodes already connected. Mr Bal also emphasized that since the main technical and administrative building blocks are in place, the efforts are now shifting towards implementing the operational use of CISE.
In continuation, Mr Economou Deputy Director Maritime Policy and Blue Economy, and Head of Unit Sea Basin Strategies, Maritime Regional Cooperation and Maritime Security at DG MARE reminded the CSG about the role of CISE as an important tool to enhance maritime domain awareness, and address strategic aspects for the EU, like the protection of critical infrastructure. This was reflected in the recent Joint Communication on the update of the EU Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS) and its Action Plan. Mr Economou also informed about the proposed framework for the Operational Phase of CISE, which will start in 2024. Mr Economou informed the CSG also about the proposal of “governance structure” discussed and endorsed by the Member State Expert Sub-Group on Integration of Maritime Security and Surveillance (MSESG) on 4 May. Moreover, on 15 June the EMSA Administrative Board approved the activation of the ancillary task of EMSA, entrusting the Agency with the coordination of CISE during its Operational Phase.
With regards to the preparations for the upcoming Operational Phase, during the meeting the stakeholders presented various ongoing and concluded pre-operational exercises. The presented activities demonstrated the real added-value of CISE in addressing different maritime challenges and threats, such as protection of critical infrastructures, search and rescue, drug trafficking and monitoring of vessels sanctioned by the EU, etc. Moreover, they showcase how, thanks to the cross-border and cross-sector information sharing through CISE, maritime authorities can obtain an enhanced maritime domain awareness picture in the sea basins of their interest. Finally, the stakeholders were encouraged to actively engage in any type of exercises helping them to deepen their involvement in CISE.
The CSG members were invited to the CISE trainings planned to take place in autumn 2023: 1) CISE Virtual Open Day open to all interested stakeholders to be held in September, 2) the 1st Info Day for Maritime Operators, which will be organised in Lisbon in October, 3) the 6th Node Administrator Training planned in November.
The next CSG meeting (14th) is planned to take place on 28-29 November 2023 at EMSA.