Project CISE-ALERT organized an interactive CISE Workshop “CISE-ALERT: towards CISE’s operationalization” during the European Maritime Day 2024

How the CISE-ALERT project will support and test the real use of the Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE), and how, on its turn, CISE will contribute to a more effective, responsive, and cost-efficient maritime surveillance within the European Union - these were the main topics, discussed during the CISE Workshop “CISE-ALERT: towards CISE’s operationalization”. 

The workshop, which took place on the 30th of May, 2024, was organized by project CISE-ALERT as part of the European Maritime Days, held on the 30th and 31st of May, 2024 in Svendborg, Denmark.

During the opening of the workshop, Mr. Christos ECONOMOU, Deputy Director of DGMARE/Head of Unit “Sea basin strategies, Maritime Regional Cooperation and Maritime Security” at the European Commission, spoke about the importance of having as much as possible Member States joining the CISE network in the Operational phase. In this context, the execution of the CISE-ALERT operational trials will bring the real added value of the project, by allowing the CISE-ALERT Consortium to share valuable experience and lessons learned with the CISE newcomers.

On his turn, Mr. Gianluca LURASCHI, Project Manager for CISE at the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) presented the key principles of CISE, the status of its implementation, and the role of the CISE-ALERT project in achieving the objectives of the CISE Operational Phase. The key message of Mr. LURASCHI was that it’s time to show the real value CISE adds to maritime surveillance operations through the exchange of additional information among EU/EEA authorities across borders and different sectors. The results of the CISE-ALERT trials will help the entire CISE community to step up the operational use of CISE.

Next in the workshop, the concept of project CISE-ALERT was introduced by Ms. Linda BAMA-TANDIA, EU Project Manager at the French Secretariat general for the Sea, part of the CISE-ALERT coordination team.

The key objective of the CISE-ALERT project is to push-up CISE from the current transitional phase to its operational state, by testing the Common Information Sharing Environment in an operational way with a long endurance trial. This will happen by performing “real live” tests of CISE with the use of scenarios, elaborated by operational authorities, consisting of exchange of real data between Maritime Operational Centres and by further expanding CISE’s user community, which includes end-users from the different maritime sectors in the Member States as well as relevant EU agencies - European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) - and the European Union Satellite Centre (SatCen).

The results of the execution of the ever first CISE-ALERT scenario, during which specially trained operational personnel of Bulgaria, Greece and Slovenia used CISE to coordinate and control their combined actions to counter illegal migration smuggling networks, was presented by Mr. Anthimos TSIRIGOTIS, CISE-ALERT project officer at the Hellenic Ministry of Defence. Mr. TSIRIGOTIS presented a footage of the scenario showing the use of the CISE platform by the Greek operators at the Hellenic Fleet Headquarters and the new way that the European maritime forces and coast-guards can now work in concert. Through the CISE platform, the European partners can seamlessly exchange information about any vessel of interest. Furthermore, with CISE, the European partners move away from the principle of “need to know” to the principle of “responsibility to share”. 

This is the reason why CISE constitutes an environment into which the European resilience is enhanced but, first and foremost, the European cohesion is cemented. 

During the CISE-ALERT workshop, Mr. Denis BRUCKERT, Head of Copernicus Unit at the European Union Satellite Centre (EU SatCen), spoke about SatCen’s geospatial intelligence capabilities and contribution to the CISE-ALERT trials. Mr. BRUCKERT highlighted the position of SatCen in the EU Maritime Security landscape, in particular regarding the EU Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS), MARSUR and CISE. From SatCen’s perspective CISE-ALERT trial is a great opportunity for testing and technically validating the potentialities to share information between stakeholders in order to improve Maritime Domain Awareness.

Introduction of the CISE-ALERT Scenario “Protection of Critical Infrastructure” was delivered by Mr. Miran BORDON, Head of development and EU project section at Slovenian Maritime Administration, Ministry of infrastructure. He stressed on the fact that the CISE is tested and ready to be operationally used as an information sharing facilitation tool for support of maritime surveillance and emergency response activities, as well as an element of regional cooperation agreements, regular trials, exercises and simulations.

Another topic, discussed during the CISE-ALERT workshop was how the use of EU funding can maximise the implementation of CISE. For that purpose, Ms. Silviya DIYANOVA-GEORGIEVA, Chief expert in “Projects” Unit at the Bulgarian Executive Agency “Maritime Administration” (EAMA), presented the example of EAMA, by introducing the results of key CISE-related projects (COOPP, EUCISE2020, InBulMarS, Andromeda, InBulMarS 2, EFFECTOR, CISE-ALERT), implemented by EAMA during the Testing and the Transitional phase of CISE. It was outlined that the further EU support is crucial and will reinforce the Member-States’ ability to translate the results of the Transitional Phase into operational CISE platform. Furthermore, the technical and operational support provided by EU Agencies will remain a key factor for the successful operationalization of the CISE. EU support could be also used in the process of coordination and involvement of the national user communities, which are integral element for the success of CISE. 

At the end of the workshop, Ms. Mojca OBID, Section for development and EU projects at the Slovenian Maritime Administration, Ministry of infrastructure and Mr. Massimo CALABRESE, Italian Space Agency, Directorate General introduced the upcoming key events of the project, dedicated to the final results of the operational trials and the overall project results.

Ms Florence WAGNER, project coordinator of CISE-ALERT and senior advisor at the French Secretariat general for the Sea, concluded by stating that CISE will fill a gap in the European cooperation on coast-guard functions, providing the maritime authorities with the necessary tool to coordinate their action.

The CISE community was invited to SAVE THE DATE for:

CISE-ALERT Show case event, which will take place on the 11th and 12th of September 2024 at the Italian Space Agency Headquarters in Rome, Italy and 

CISE-ALERT Final event, which will be hosted by the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium on the 17th of October 2024.

Moderators of the CISE-ALERT workshop were: 

Ms. Florence WAGNER is senior advisor at the French Secretariat general for the Sea, which is the body of the Prime minister services in charge of coordinating the maritime policy. She is a Navy officer with a wide operational background in maritime safety and security. Ms. Wagner is deeply involved in European cooperation on coast-guard functions. Former Head of French Coast Guard Function operational center, she is now coordinating the European project CISE-ALERT.

Ms. Linda BAMA-TANDIAis EU Project Manager at the French Secretariat general for the Sea. Over the last ten years, Ms. Bama-Tandia has managed several EU funded-projects related to maritime security, environment, IT, health, etc. with public administrations, SMEs and large companies. Today, Ms. Bama-Tandia is part of the CISE-ALERT project coordination team.