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20 mars 2015 5 20 /03 /mars /2015 07:50
Discussions on European defence in Portugal

 

Lisbon - 19 March, 2015 European Defence Agency

 

Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency and José Pedro Aguiar-Branco, Minister of Defence of Portugal met today to discuss preparations of the European Council on defence issues in June 2015 as well as the implementation of the EU Maritime Security Strategy Action Plan.

 

The Portuguese Minister of Defence stressed the importance of the European Defence Agency, especially in the context of EU’s financial constraints. José Pedro Aguiar-Branco underlined the importance of R&T programmes as a way of developing defence and dual-use technologies. He also mentioned the importance of supporting the role of small and medium enterprises, since they are the backbone of the European Technological and Industrial Base. Finally, he underlined the need to work towards the full implementation of the December 2013 European Council conclusions in accordance with the agreed roadmap.

 

“The European Defence Agency witnessed Portugal’s hospitality and commitment to European defence corporation during the last three editions of Hot Blade which is part of our successful Helicopter Exercise Programme. To date, 174 helicopters, 329 crews and over 12.000 personnel have participated in seven live exercises organised as part of this programme. Portugal will also host the European Air Transport Training in June this year. By training together, our armed forces can be best prepared for their deployment in multinational operations”, Jorge Domecq said at the meeting in Lisbon.

 

During the visit, Jorge Domecq also met with the National Armaments Director, the Chief of Defence and other senior officials of the Portuguese Ministry of Defence. Additionally, he held discussions at the European Maritime Security Agency (EMSA) and the Portuguese defence industry organisation.

 

The main topics addressed during the meetings were the preparation of the Heads of State and Government discussion on defence in June 2015, the implementation of the EU Maritime Security Strategy Action Plan as well as support to defence industry with particular emphasis on small and medium sized enterprises.

 

Jorge Domecq’s meetings in Lisbon are part of a tour to all EDA Member States following his appointment as EDA Chief Executive and ahead of the European Council in June.

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7 mars 2014 5 07 /03 /mars /2014 16:50
European Commission Memo on the EU's Maritime Security Strategy

 

6/3/2014 EU source: European Commission Ref: EC14-061EN

 

Summary: 6 March 2014, Brussels - European Commission Memo on the EU's Maritime Security Strategy

 

Q: Why is the Commission and the High Representative proposing only elements for a strategy?

A: One of the objectives of this process is to ensure that the Member States are fully involved in the development of this strategy. A European Union maritime security strategy cannot be developed without the involvement of Member States since many operational activities are carried out by national authorities. The Commission and the High Representative are therefore looking forward to working closely with Member States in order to deliver a full-fledged strategy. We are confident that the strategy once adopted will represent the views and interests of all stakeholders.

 

Q: How have Member States been involved so far?

A: The Member States already have provided substantial input through events organised at EU level and through various written contributions. Additionally, the Commission and the European External Action Service organised a stakeholder consultation in June 2013, where Member States expressed their support to the general approach. The intention is that the Joint Communication will serve as a basis for further work on shaping the strategy together with the Member States in the EU Council under the leadership of the Hellenic Presidency.

 

Q: What would be the purpose of such a strategy?

A: The purpose of an EU Maritime Security Strategy would be to provide a common framework for relevant authorities at national and European levels to develop further their specific policies. The aim of such a strategy would be to protect EU's strategic maritime interests and identify options to do so. Such a framework would provide the context and ensure coherence amongst different sector specific maritime policies and strategies. Most importantly it would significantly strengthen the link between internal and external security aspects of the maritime policy of the EU and civil and military cooperation.

 

Q: What are the main aims?

A: The main aims of an EU Maritime Security Strategy should be: (1) to identify and articulate the main strategic maritime interests of the EU; (2) to identify and articulate the maritime threats, challenges and risks to the strategic maritime interests of the EU; and (3) to organise the response, i.e. provide the common policy objectives, common principles and areas of common support as the backbone of the joint strategic framework in order to create coherence for the diverse and wide array of sector specific maritime policies and strategies.

 

Q: Does the EU only have maritime interests or does it also have a maritime responsibility?

A: It is crucial to identify the strategic maritime interests of the European Union. The global maritime domain is of vital importance to the EU and it is multi-layered. It is a crucial domain for free commerce and trade. In addition, seas and oceans are interrelated eco-systems; it is a source of resources; open seas and coastal areas are zones for tourism etc. The EU is a global actor therefore it does not only have interests, it also has to take adequate responsibility. This global responsibility has to be transformed into concrete and specific actions and to promote the respect for international law, human rights and democracy, and rules-based good governance at sea.

 

Q: What does the term "cross-sectoral" mean?

A: The term 'cross-sectoral' refers to actions or cooperation between different marine or maritime functions. They are still largely organised in isolation of each other and often along national lines. Modern maritime risks and threats are multifaceted and can have implications for all of these sectors involving different policies and instruments. The responses therefore should be adequately integrated and cross-sectoral in their nature. It means finding a common maritime security interest among different functions and aspects concerned.

 

Q: What are the sectors addressed?

A: Some of the most evident sectors are maritime safety, maritime transport, marine environment protection, fisheries control, customs, border control, law enforcement, defence, research and development and others. A 'joined up' approach to maritime policy, making these sectors work better together, can make the security policy more coherent, effective and cost efficient.

 

Q: What is the added value of this strategy - what will change compared to the current situation?

A: The added value of a shared strategic framework is that it provides the necessary basis to ensure coherent actions and policy development. It also facilitates the coordination of all efforts and ensures that different policies are 'joined up'. The ambition is that the EU can become more resilient in addressing threats and risks in the maritime domain and as such it would be more capable at safeguarding its values, strategic maritime interests and promoting multilateral cooperation and maritime governance. In essence, the result of the strategy would be that maritime security activities would be much more coordinated than today.

Different policy frameworks have resulted in the European Security Strategy (ESS - 2003) and the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP - 2007), which have been developing separately. Also sector specific legislation is already in place like the maritime transport security legislation - Regulation (EC) No 725/2004 on enhancing ship and port facility security and Directive 2005/65/EC on enhancing port security, the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) improving the situational awareness and reaction capability of Member States and of the EU Border Agency Frontex at the external borders - Regulation (EU) No 1052/2013), SafeSeaNet, a Union maritime traffic monitoring and information system for EU waters, managed by EU Maritime Transport agency EMSA, or the 3rd Maritime Safety Package.

 

Q: How will the actions, identified in this strategy, be put in practice?

This depends to a large extent on the opinion of the Member States since many of them would fall under their competence, but already existing examples with joint deployment plans and enhanced information exchange systems can eventually lead to the use of common platforms for surveillance operations. This aspect will however need to be discussed in detail with Member States.

 

Q: Will such a strategy promote deployment of more naval missions similar to EUNAVFOR Operation ATALANTA?

A: The use of all possible tools and instruments should be considered when addressing a maritime insecurity situation. Each case requires a full evaluation of the situation in order to identify the best action. In the case of the piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia, which gravely endanger shipping routes in the Gulf of Aden, the deployment of international naval forces was deemed necessary as local capacities to ensure maritime security were not available.

 

Q: Why is such an initiative taken now?

A: Already on 26 April 2010 the Council invited the High Representative, together with the Commission and Member States 'to undertake work with a view to preparing options for the possible elaboration of a Security Strategy for the global maritime domain'. More recently in December, 2013, the European Council called for "an EU Maritime Security Strategy by June 2014, on the basis of a Joint Communication from the Commission and the High Representative, taking into account the opinions of the Member States". This is the direct response to these requests.

 

Q: What are the next steps?

A: Based on the elements proposed be the Joint Communication from the Commission and the High Representative, an EU Maritime Security Strategy should be elaborated within the appropriate EU Council bodies and be adopted not later than in June 2014.

European Commission Memo on the EU's Maritime Security Strategy

Note RP Defense : on EDA website : Further step taken in the MARSUR network development

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4 mars 2014 2 04 /03 /mars /2014 19:50
Radarsat-2 Information To Be Used By European Maritime Safety Agency

 

March 4, 2014 By David Pugliese  - Defence Watch

 

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. has announcedthat it has received an order to provide RADARSAT-2 information to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) as part of EMSA’s CleanSeaNet program.

 

More from the MDA news release:

 

This order is the first issued under a four-year Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) agreement MDA has with EMSA. The IDIQ has a ceiling of CA$7.5 million.

 

MDA will provide EMSA with RADARSAT-2 information covering all European sea areas, for use in detecting possible oil spills on the sea surface, and providing information for maritime surveillance projects, such as vessel detection.

 

The RADARSAT-2 satellite has global high-resolution surveillance capabilities that include a large collection capacity and high accuracy. The satellite acquires data regardless of light or weather condition, provides frequent re-visit imaging options, and is supported by ground receiving stations that provide near real-time information delivery services. This versatility makes RADARSAT-2 a reliable source of information in multi-faceted intelligence surveying and monitoring programs.

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