Skip to main content

An InteroOPERAble Approach to the European Union MARitime Security Management

Final Report Summary - OPERAMAR (An interooperable approach to the European union maritime security management)

The scope of the OPERAMAR Support Action (FP7, Security Call 1, Grant Agreement No. 218045) is to assess the challenge of increasing the seamless information exchange and develop a sufficient interoperability of current maritime security management systems, with a specific emphasis on technical constraints (legacy systems), but not ignoring organisational and institutional obstacles, legislation and regulations.

About 40 visits have been made and reported across Europe to assess the exact picture of current information gathering, integration and dispatch concerning the successive 'layers' of the situational picture:
- Maritime surveillance: 'what is going on? who is there?'
- Situational awareness - recognised maritime picture: 'who is doing what?'
- Security layer: 'is that activity legitimate? secure?' and ultimately law enforcement and response activities.

The OPERAMAR study is shaping a clear way ahead regarding the implementation of a federating framework for co-ordination and cooperation:
- creating the desired level of connectivity among existing (and future) information systems used by the various maritime communities,
- enabling through seamless information exchanges an enhanced situation awareness.

Considering the number of legacy systems and developing initiatives a twofold approach is strongly recommended:
- the alignment in terms of trustworthy ICT (TICOT) of the relevant components (information systems) of these systems and initiatives vis-a-vis a common 'toolbox' (CERIS.Tbox) to:
--enable a secure controlled data sharing process while developing the full openness and interoperability potential;
-- allow to capitalise lessons learned and trust of the various user communities;
-- materialise progressively (project after project) the cross-sectoral and cross-border integrated maritime cooperation concept as described in the study.
While supporting the roadmap and scope of the various existing systems and developing initiatives, the alignment process is meant to enhance their interoperability capacities in order to enable information exchange within the CERIS.Tbox;
- a full definition phase of the integrated maritime co-operation concept for the EMD in order to secure the long term consistency of all the developing regional experimentations. A medium/long term consistent vision of both operational concepts and technical solutions is really necessary to nurture the progressive development of harmonised and interoperable procedures for managing both safe, secure and sustainable maritime activities, and effective response operations.

A prompt progress in materialising the secure controlled data sharing solution itself (better described as a 'CERIS.Tbox' as it is by essence a flexible, open and modular framework) will foster synergy and cross fertilisation between activity sectors, institutional and commercial operators. Building from the same toolbox will synergise operational capabilities, and enable stakeholders to fulfil their duties and tasks in a coordinated manner.

Through seamless interoperability, the ultimate goal aims to develop and increase response capabilities and resource/cost effectiveness, promote quality shipping and sustainable activities in the EMA, and finally avoid unnecessary duplications.

In this perspective, it seems timely to establish an action plan and a roadmap to conduct this definition phase with a view to (1) converging MS, Community and EU projects and initiatives related to information sharing, coordination and management, and (2) providing MS with guidance to enhancing their maritime surveillance capabilities, for example in the framework of the External Border Fund. An over-arching Conops and a definition phase with a view to developing a structuring system of integrated maritime management for the EMD should be concurrently considered.

From a technical perspective, there are no roadblocks to develop an integrated management solution.