The European Coast Guard Academy Network II project's (ECGFA NET II) kick-off event was held on the 17th and 18th of January in the Finnish Border Guard's headquarters.
Led by the Finnish Border Guard, the project's goal is to enhance training cooperation by supporting the ECGF Training Network (established 2016) and by further advancing the availability/reachability of existing training courses between different countries and authorities through the ECGF Training Portal. The portal, which is open to the members of the Network, can be found in www.ecgff-trainingportal.eu. In addition, the project aims to harmonize European Coast Guard training by producing a sectorial qualifications framework that defines common standards and minimum requirements for coast guard qualifications.
In addition to the Finnish Border Guard thirteen other European organizations with ties to coast guard activities participate in the project. Observer organizations include among others the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA). The European Coast Guard Functions Forum, which is a consortium of maritime authorities and coast guard actors, serves as a platform for the project and the basis for cooperation.
Coast guard functions consist of inter alia the following: maritime safety, maritime search and rescue, maritime monitoring and surveillance, maritime border control, maritime environmental protection and response, maritime customs activities and fisheries inspection.
The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund grants funding for the project.