During the closing ceremony of the European Coast Guard Functions Forum (ECGFF) summit , which was held from 5 to 7 September 2022 in Split, Belgium has taken over the chairmanship from predecessor Croatia.
The European flag was handed over to the Belgian Coast Guard chair Piet Pieters and the regional Coast Guard chair Nathalie Balcaen, both of whom exchanged information and best-practices with their colleagues around the organization of this important event.
The ECGFF is an ideally suited instrument to exchange information, share both best practices and lessons-learned, learn from jointly organized exercises, work together on common solutions and overcoming obstacles. In short it is a unique opportunity to strengthen our bonds with the coastguard organization of the European member states.
As current chair to the ECGFF, Belgium is organizing following activities in the months to come:
- a workshop in cooperation with Frontex (the European Border and Coast Guard Agency). This is important in the framework of a common policy for transmigrant issues.
- a workshop in cooperation with EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency) covering a wide array of topics such as maritime sustainability, security and the Green Deal.
- a meeting of the working group Cyber Security to look into depth in all issues regarding digital safety and cyber-attacks.
- a workshop "use of evidences obtained through modern technologies in Fisheries Control and Inspection" and an exercise "COASTEX 23" in cooperation with EFCA (European Fisheries Control Agency)
- a summit in cooperation withDG MARE (Directorate General Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) to disscuss the results of the workshops at a strategic level and to highlight Belgian cases such as the need for an Emergency Towing Vessel and extra 'eyes' in the sky for Search & Rescue.
We want to offer the participants a chance to get to know our multi-faceted country better as well as our eleventh province, namely the North Sea.