Maritime Forum

Maritime Forum Themes


Frequently asked questions on CISE

Published on: Mon, 14/07/2014 - 11:24
Table of Contents

    What is Maritime CISE?

    The Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE) for the maritime domain is a voluntary collaborative process, which seeks to ensure increased and reliable information exchange, across sectors and borders, amongst EU and Member States authorities involved in maritime surveillance.

    The objective is to ensure that maritime surveillance information collected by any maritime authority and considered necessary for the operational activities of others can be shared and be subject to multiuse, rather than collected and produced several times, or collected and kept for a single purpose / user.

    Maritime CISE is a network that builds upon existing EU and EU/EEA member states’ surveillance systems, making them interoperable and able to exchange information in an automatic and secure way.

    What is the added value of CISE?

    The timely and secured access to relevant information enables national authorities and EU agencies to enhance their maritime surveillance picture, thus to better plan and conduct maritime operations at strategic, operational and tactical level.

    Enabling the exchange of information between different EU and national authorities belonging to seven maritime sectors[1], across the European maritime domain, ensures that decisions are based on the best available data specific of these sectors. This will benefit the acquisition, deployment and maintenance of expensive surveillance assets such as radars, helicopters, ships, planes and satellites. Sharing information means harnessing the cumulative potential from all European assets for awareness and response in the most efficient and cost-saving manner.

    What kind of information will be shared in CISE?

     Maritime surveillance authorities and sectors deal with different kinds of data, including entity (e.g. ship register or crew lists), traffic (e.g. declared origin or density), spatial (e.g. passageways or hydrography), and event management data (e.g. accident or landing of dangerous cargoes), as well as their associated metadata (e.g. police reports or fisheries legislation) and information about meteorological conditions or environmental parameters, among others.

    CISE enables the sharing of all types of maritime information, also information which can be exchanged between civil and military organizations. The information shared can be both classified and not classified information. The actual information exchanged depends on what information CISE participants will offer.

    Which maritime surveillance sectors can use CISE?

    CISE is used by public authorities, regional organizations and EU agencies involved in maritime surveillance. The maritime surveillance authorities exchanging information through CISE can carry out tasks in various sectors such as maritime safety, security and prevention of pollution by ships, fisheries control, marine pollution preparedness and response, marine environment, customs, border control, general law enforcement and defence.

    Who/what it is the CISE community?

    CISE is a voluntary initiative, which has been built up by maritime surveillance stakeholders: EU/EEA Member States, their maritime surveillance authorities and European Agencies.

    The European Commission coordinates the development of CISE. The Commission promotes the use of interoperability standards, and supports stakeholders to engage, share and contribute to CISE development.

    Because CISE is voluntary, it relies on the commitment and participation of its stakeholders.

    Maritime surveillance authorities and Member States commonly agreed on the necessity for fully developing CISE, cooperating across sectors and borders, as it will greatly enhance their capacity to cost-effectively comply with their duties of ensuring secure, safe and clean seas around Europe.

    In particular, military and civilian sectors are encouraged to strengthen communication and cooperate to towards these common goals.

    What is the Responsibility to Share principle and how does it apply to CISE?

    The Responsibility to Share principle entails the voluntary sharing of information, even when not specifically requested by another party, but on the basis that it is deemed useful. Through its implementation, the overall performance of all authorities responsible for maritime surveillance will improve. By increasing information sharing, a more complete overall maritime picture can be drawn up, leading to more effective preventive and protective measures being implemented and will help to create a sense of joint responsibility.

    One of the activities of the transitional phase of CISE is to define an audit scheme to assess the exchange of information. This audit scheme will support those participating in the CISE network to implement the responsibility to share principle.

    How is CISE funded?

    The EU and Member States have made significant human resource and financial investments into developing CISE. The investment in CISE in the 2014 – 2020 period consists of:

    • EUCISE2020 pre-operational validation project partially under the FP7 programme;
    • ISA and ISA2 programmes to facilitate specific European studies and pilot projects in support of CISE development;
    • EMFF in direct management to support the design, development and testing of CISE at EU and national levels and to facilitate the direct involvement of EMSA in the alignment of CISE with the EU information systems embedded in EU law and for the transitional phase towards operational CISE; and
    • EMFF in shared management to support the integration of maritime surveillance (CISE) at national level.

    The proposal by the Commission on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund under the next multiannual financial framework envisages the possibility of supporting actions contributing to the achievement of the objectives of CISE under shared management. The proposal also envisages the possibility of supporting the promotion of maritime security and surveillance, including through data sharing, under direct management.

    Is it part of something larger?

    As new security challenges have emerged in recent years, maritime security has been high on the political agenda of the EU. In this respect, the policy developments that can be considered particularly relevant for CISE are the adoption of the EU Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS) in 2014, and the establishment of the interagency cooperation between the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCGA-Frontex), the European Fisheries Agency (EFCA) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

    The purpose of CISE is in line with several other EU strategic priorities[2] such as:

    • protecting EU citizens and freedoms by:
      • strengthening cooperation in handling irregular migration (at sea), and fighting migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings,
      • ensuring the integrity of the EU’s territory and its external borders, strengthen the EU’s overall preparedness for – and response to – terrorism and cross-border crime,
      • consolidating capacities across the EU to better counter cyber and hybrid threats, and
      • increasing the EU’s resilience against both natural and man-made disasters;
    • contributing to the EU digital transformation process[3] by promoting: interoperability, data standardisation, accessibility, and the secure exchange of information;
    • Green Deal: CISE contributes to ensure safer, more secure and cleaner seas as a fundament condition for blue jobs and growth;
    • enhancing regional cooperation by bringing together authorities from different sectors.

    Overall, CISE enables an effective understanding of all activities carried out at sea that could impact the security, safety, economy, or environment of the European Union and its Member States.

    Where are we now?

    The development of CISE was proposed in 2009 and has been refined and developed since then. Following a number of national and EU-wide interoperability and research projects, in 2019 CISE entered into a new phase that aim to facilitate the transition of the pre-operational CISE network to operations. This transitional phase runs up to 2022 and builds upon the results of the FP7 pre-operational validation project EUCISE2020, which created a test-bed for CISE and a long-lasting cooperation between more than 40 authorities from 16 MS. EMSA has been entrusted and financially supported by the Commission to set up and manage the CISE transitional phase with the close involvement of Member States and other relevant EU bodies. The Commission is guiding and supervising the whole process and has encouraged the participation of all Member States in the transitional phase and the further development and implementation of CISE.  

    [1] Marine environment, maritime safety and security, fisheries control, border control, defence, customs and law enforcement.