ArticlePDF Available

EU Coast Guard: a Governance Framework Based On the Principles of Sustainable Development



In recent years, Europe is facing an unprecedented wave of migration via sea routes. Gaps and weaknesses of the EU sea borders system are used by thousands of migrants to enter EU territories. More than 1.5 million persons have crossed the EU borders illegally during 2015. So far, the EU reaction was marked by divergent policies and positions between EU Member States, either in terms of responsibilities (National vs. European) or in respect of required actions and resources (border control means, asylum and return policies, large scale search and rescue cooperation). This paper explores the viability of a new governance approach for managing EU maritime challenges based on the principles of sustainable development and the concept of the European Union Coast Guard. The outcome is based on the results of using the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development as an investigation and analysis tool. This is an attempt to test the applicability of this framework methodology outside of the traditional ecological aspects of the marine environment into the socio-technical area of maritime domain awareness. The conclusions support the establishment of the EU Coast Guard and outline guidelines for a potential governance model.
European Journal of Sustainable Development (2016), 5, 2, 181-196 ISSN: 2239-5938
Doi: 10.14207/ejsd.2016.v5n2p181
| 1PhD student at ISEG, Lisbon University.
2Associate Professor, CSG/SOCIUS, ISEG, Lisbon University.
EU Coast Guard: a Governance Framework Based
On the Principles of Sustainable Development.
Marin Chintoan-Uta1 and Joaquim Ramos Silva2
In recent years, Europe is facing an unprecedented wave of migration via sea routes. Gaps and
weaknesses of the EU sea borders system are used by thousands of migrants to enter EU territories.
More than 1.5 million persons have crossed the EU borders illegally during 2015. So far, the EU
reaction was marked by divergent policies and positions between EU Member States, either in terms
of responsibilities (National vs. European) or in respect of required actions and resources (border
control means, asylum and return policies, large scale search and rescue cooperation). This paper
explores the viability of a new governance approach for managing EU maritime challenges based on
the principles of sustainable development and the concept of the European Union Coast Guard.
The outcome is based on the results of using the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development
as an investigation and analysis tool. This is an attempt to test the applicability of this framework
methodology outside of the traditional ecological aspects of the marine environment into the socio-
technical area of maritime domain awareness. The conclusions support the establishment of the EU
Coast Guard and outline guidelines for a potential governance model.
Sustainable Development, Maritime Domain Awareness, Governance, EU Coast Guard, Framework
for Strategic Sustainable Development,
1. Introduction
From maritime accidents to security and illicit activities, the problems faced by
the European Union (EU) maritime borders and its surveillance and control systems
have increased a lot in the recent years. This is particularly true as far as concerns the
massive illegal migration (1.5 million people only in 2015), coming mainly from troubled
neighbouring areas of the North of Africa and Middle East, with a focus on countries
like Libya and Syria. This has put the EU border system under strain as the existing
arrangements seem not to be fully equipped to deal with these new challenges. Despite
the need of urgent solutions, the response should follow as much as possible the
principles of sustainable development for providing a long term solution. This paper
analyses EU maritime border problems through a methodology taken from the field of
sustainable development, and proposes a governance framework model in accordance
with the principles of sustainability.
After this introduction, the article is structured as follows: first, we set up the concept of
the EU Coast Guard (CG), explaining how it has been developed to its present form;
182 European Journal of Sustainable Development (2016), 5, 2, 181-196
Published by ECSDEV, Via dei Fiori, 34, 00172, Rome, Italy
second, we detail the methodology that was adopted in our research work under the
denomination of Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD), and apply
it, particularly through its levels, to the case of EU CG, in order to establish a strategy
for responding to the new challenges; third, we report the outcomes of using the FSSD
methodology to our core issues taking into account the principles of sustainable
development. Lastly, we draw the main conclusions stemming from the research, and put
forward ideas for further developments.
2. The European Union Coast Guard concept
The first study assessing the opportunity and possibility of establishing the EU
CG goes back to 1994 and recommends creating a centralised coordination body with
regional enforcement centres (Wadden, 1994). Initially, the concept was rejected by most
of the MSs, mainly because of the potential interferences on their national maritime
sovereignty and the fear of losing privileges over enforcement of their own national
policies and regulations. However, the continual EU development and strengthening of
regional cooperation initiatives has made its way in the maritime domain as well, and
centralised coordination of maritime activities was lately accepted through the
establishment of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)1(EC 1406, 2002) as a
technical body on maritime safety, security and pollution prevention issues and the
European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External
Borders (FRONTEX)2(EC 2007, 2004) as the coordinating body for EU borders
The specific topic of the EU CG was formally re-opened in 2005 through the
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT and COUNCIL Directive on ship-source pollution which
requested the European Commission (EC) to undertake a feasibility study on the
European Coastguard (EC 35, 2005) followed if appropriate, by a proposal on its
establishment. The EC has initiated discussions with MSs on their requirements related
to the study and the outcome indicates their preference for enhancing the cooperation
between the national coast guard organisations within the existing distribution of
competencies as an intermediate step before the study. This approach resulted in the
establishment of the European Coast Guard Functions Forum (ECGFF)3, an informal
cooperation arrangement aiming to achieve better coordination between relevant
authorities and EU agencies active in the maritime domain. The forum has established an
annual plenary meeting supported by a coordinating secretariat, has initiated the EU CG
Functions Academy Network project for European Sectorial Qualification's Framework
for Coast Guard personnel and has opened a Brussels based office. Using a practical
approach aimed at addressing stringent common needs of the CG authorities, the
ECGFF has emerged as a convenient cooperation vehicle supported by the EC which
has also became a member of the network. Within the framework of ECGFF activities,
the EC has finally launched the study on the feasibility of improved co-operation
M. Chintoan-Uta, J. Ramos Silva 183
© 2016 The Author. Journal Compilation © 2016 European Center of Sustainable Development.
between bodies carrying out European Coast Guard functions. The study identified 316
public EU authorities carrying out coast guard functions and indicates that current
structures create barriers to collaboration (ICF, 2014) mainly due to the complexity, diversity
and fragmentation of institutional arrangements. Acknowledging the case for enhanced
collaboration, the study4 proposes a number of actions in the following fields:
Capacity building for developing a vision and strategy for collaboration
between EU coast guard authorities and EU agencies (FRONTEX, EMSA, EFCA);
Joint operations and asset sharing for search and rescue and border control
Data sharing to promote harmonisation and interoperability of systems, use of
common standards for collecting, disseminating and benchmarking of data;
Research and innovation.
The increasing migration from the troubled EU neighbouring countries, and the
problems encountered in providing effective response solutions under the existing
arrangements have made the maritime border control an actual and main topic for
discussion and decision. Politicians from EU organisations and MSs have expressed their
support for the establishment of the EU CG as a framework to manage the common
problem of migration. France’s president stated that “Europe needs to put in place European
coast guard and European border guard service(Hollande, 2015) and has submitted a proposal
for discussion. The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and
Security Policy has urged the EU leaders to tackle these tragedies without delay “We
need to save human lives all together, as all together we need to protect our borders and
to fight the trafficking of human beings.” (Mogherini, 2015). Under the increasing
operational and political pressure for immediate actions, the EC has announced that a
proposal for establishing the EU CG will be submitted to the EU Parliament and the
Council by December 2015 (EC 490, 2015). The proposal was released in December
2015 (EC/671, 2015)laying down the general principles of European integrated border
management and the expansion of the present EU border control coordination body
(Frontex5) into the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCGA). The main task
of the European Border and Coast Guard is to implement the European integrated
border management in accordance with the principle of shared responsibility. The
national border and coast guards that carry out border control tasks are active members
of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency at the same time as they are national
border and coast guards.
This research paper analyses the EUCG proposal by providing a perspective
based on the principles of sustainable development. As referred to before, the
perspective was developed under the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development
(FSSD) as the main tool for investigation and analysis.
3. Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development
184 European Journal of Sustainable Development (2016), 5, 2, 181-196
Published by ECSDEV, Via dei Fiori, 34, 00172, Rome, Italy
FSSDis a back-casting methodology that starts from imagining the targeted
outcome and then seeking: “what do we need to do today to reach that vision of success(Natural
Step, 2015).The core principle of the framework is to have a vision since its inception
and build the way towards that vision, rather than starting from the status quo and trying
to find solutions to adjust or compromise the present towards the vision. This approach
is suitable in the case of EU maritime border control as the new vision is to move from
the nation-based territorial control towards a common regional-based (EU) system. The
FSSD uses a four steps approach called ABCD, as detailed in Table 1.
Table 1 FSSD ABCD approach (self-authored)
Baseline Mapping
Creative Solutions
Decide Priorities
Identifies the
context of the
analysed system (in
our case the EU
CG) from the
perspective of
sustainability and
creates a vision of
how the system
should look like for
a sustainable future.
Analyse the current
status of the system
today by listing the
current practices,
flows and
conditions that
violate the
prerequisites for
sustainability (gap
Using brainstorming
for finding potential
solutions to the issues
highlighted in the
baseline analysis
without any
constraints imposed by
the existing situation.
Define processes and
changes needed to
reach the vision.
Prioritise measures that
will move the system
(EU CG) toward the
chosen vision, optimise
flexibility and maximise
economic, social and
ecological returns. This
phase supports effective
planning, step-wise
implementation and
identification of tools
supporting the plan.
The FSSD/ABCD framework is based on systems thinking, setting ambitious goals and
developing realistic strategies to achieve them. Using this approach to analyse the
potential model of the EU CG concept is innovative as the method was used so far
mainly for socio-environmental systems focusing on the sustainable use of natural
resources. However, the FSSD methodology is designed as a supporting conceptual
model that can be used for planning sustainability in any complex system where there is
an intended success outcome. The system approach of the FSSD offers a model to see
relationships and underlying circumstances for system behaviour, rather than focusing
on individual events and actions (Montouri, 2000). Taking a whole-system perspective on
EU CG avoid the focus on sectorial sub-set of issues and provides a broader approach
which facilitates intellectual analysis of the interrelated elements and how they influence
one another within the relationship between the System, Success and Governance levels.
The FSSD uses a generic five levels framework (5LF) that helps to identify, understand
and evaluate what is really happening within a system what is the intent, what it cover,
the specific definition of success and whether or not the actions are executed in a
strategic manner. This approach combines a rigorous, science-based understanding of
sustainability with a tested planning approach to create real and transformative change.
Sustainable development concept requires a new way of thinking and innovative
solutions when reconsidering the old problems (Spangenberg J., 2010). The EU CG use-
case starts from this postulate and proposes the new FSSD narrative to identify actions
M. Chintoan-Uta, J. Ramos Silva 185
© 2016 The Author. Journal Compilation © 2016 European Center of Sustainable Development.
that could support the set-up of the EU Coast Guard in a sustainable manner. In our
analysis of the FSSD five levels application we tried to synthetize the main topics by
using figures and tables. Figure 1 illustrates how the 5LF is applied in this case.
Figure 1 FSSD 5LF framework for EU Coast Guard case (self-authored)
3.1 1st Level - System analysis
The system level analysis aims to determine the functions, boundaries, features,
and mechanisms associated with the EU CG concept. The main functions of a coast
guard organization and their scopes, as defined by the ECGFF, are presented in Table 2.
Table 2 Main functions of Coast Guard organisations (adapted from ECGFF)
Maritime Safety
Compliance with regulations, ship traffic control, Flag and Port
State enforcement.
Maritime Security
Prevention, deterrence of and response to criminal activities, anti-
piracy, ISPS Code, intelligence at sea, law enforcement.
Maritime Custom
Prevention, deterrence of and response to illegal and fraudulent
activities, customs regulations, law enforcement.
Maritime Border Control
Operational response in compliance with regulations on
immigration and border crossings.
Maritime Surveillance
Maritime domain awareness services using identification systems,
tracking devices, satellite imagery, etc. Information and
intelligence gathering, joint surveillance operations.
Maritime Environmental
Identification and response to environmental pollution,
environmental compliance.
Search and Rescue
Provision of search and rescue services, monitoring and response
to emergency calls.
Ship Casualty and Disaster
Maritime crisis management, on-scene operations, accident and
disaster response
Fishery Control
Surveillance to detect illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing.
Describe and analyse
the EU CG
structure) to
1) its boundaries
2) key success
General success
principles or
(e.g. - goals,
objectives, results,
Strategic principles
or guidelines for
moving towards the
targeted success
Actions, steps,
changes to be
implemented to
achieve the
success and
strategic levels
Particular tools,
modules, laws and
regulations, actors
186 European Journal of Sustainable Development (2016), 5, 2, 181-196
Published by ECSDEV, Via dei Fiori, 34, 00172, Rome, Italy
Presently, these functions are performed at national level by one or more organisations,
as decided by each MS.6 At EU level, the coordination is distributed between various
agencies and DGs as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2 Coordination of Coast Guard functions at EU level (self-authored)
This sector-based arrangement has managed to ensure certain level of coordination at
user community level, including development of common information systems
(SafeSeaNet, CleanSeaNet, EU LRIT DC, EUROSUR, EU VMS, Customs services),
harmonisation of working procedures and joint operations at sea. Setting-up the EU
Coast Guard aims to further improve cooperation and coordination between Member
States' authorities and EU Agencies performing coastguard functions for achieving better
efficiency and effectiveness when responding to common maritime challenges. For
DG MOVE / EMSAMaritime Safety
Maritime Security
DG TAXUDMaritime Customs
FRONTEXBorder Control
Maritime Surveillance
Maritime Environment
Search and Rescue
Casualty and disaster
Fishery Control
JRCMaritime Research
M. Chintoan-Uta, J. Ramos Silva 187
© 2016 The Author. Journal Compilation © 2016 European Center of Sustainable Development.
example, the reality of the last two years (2014-2015) has demonstrated that the on-going
unprecedented wave of migration at sea cannot be managed by one country alone and a
new (cooperative) approach is needed to address the new challenges facing the EU
maritime borders. In addition, it is expected that EU CG might also improve operational
synergies in terms of resources as demonstrated by Frontex Joint Operations and by the
projects performed within the Common Sharing Information Environment (CISE)7
initiative (BlueMassMed, Marsuno, Cooperation). Key improvement indicators of an
integrated maritime surveillance approach include for example 30% reduction of threats
and risks, 40% reduction in duplication of data collection and around 400 million EUR
overall financial benefits at EU level (EC, 2014/451).
3.2 FSSD 2nd Level Success principles
Interventions at sea are usually technically difficult, expensive and often risky.
Beyond surveillance and intelligence systems, operations at sea involve the use of boats
and ships, airplanes or helicopters, which are very costly and must be operated by
specialised people. Efficient coordination of these operations requires consistent systems
(no redundancy, no gaps, interoperability and accurate information) and coordinated
implementation. Presently, the maritime operations are usually conducted based on
sectorial approach even when the resources used during an operation could be used also
for other purposes and there are very few coordination mechanisms to make multi-
missions and multidepartment operations possible. Setting up the EU CG might address
this gap and allow coordinated operations using resources from different administrations
or agencies. In order to be able to execute and coordinate the coast guard functions, the
EU CG shall: be able to know what is happening in EU waters (Maritime Domain
Awareness);have the authority to intervene as needed; and have the capacity to act across
all of the necessary functional activities. As noted above, achieving this capability
requires political agreement on new principles supporting centralised coordination, such
Cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholders cooperation: all partners from civilian
and military authorities to industry and professional organisations need to agree on better
cooperation through a common coordination mechanism, focusing on which specific
functions can better be achieved by working together.
Maritime multilateralism: a key principle when dealing with complex issues
requiring an international response. The EU should speak with one voice to international
maritime partners (UN, IMO, ILO, NATO, African Union, ASEAN).
Transparency and Trust: are critical elements for a cooperative and
collaborative governance framework relying on coordinated action and devolving
responsibility. The EU's maritime domain will be fundamentally strengthened if the duty
of sincere cooperation is taken as a guiding principle (EC 9, 2014) and is supported by
transparency, trust and accountability.
Cooperative governance: the traditional governance model based on sectorial
pillars does not match the horizontal approach proposed by integrated policies and
188 European Journal of Sustainable Development (2016), 5, 2, 181-196
Published by ECSDEV, Via dei Fiori, 34, 00172, Rome, Italy
sustainable development principles. This is also outlined by the International Maritime
Organisation (IMO) within the context of their Sustainable Maritime Transport System
(SMTS) initiative, stating that SMTS requires well-organized Administrations that co-operate
internationally (IMO, 2013).The example of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy(IMP)
making process has shown that a multi-DG governance body was able to build the
necessary trust at policy-making level and to successfully steer the process towards the
expected deliverables. Similar cooperative governance set-up for the EU CG may achieve
effective results at operational level as well.
Cooperative operational culture based on networks of relationships that are
interdependent (Harder et al, 2004). A consistent approach should be ensured between
EU and national agencies in support of building the EU Integrated Maritime Domain
Awareness system, assets sharing for operations at sea and a network of common
knowledge and competences.
Information sharing: data exchange and sharing is presently limited by
confidentiality, personal data and legal restrictions. A new legal and operational
framework shall be created supporting cross-border data exchange, defining what data
can be exchanged, the purpose, the methods of the exchange, and the potential
recipients of the data. Necessary safeguards with regard to the confidentiality and
security of (certain) data and the protection of personal datashall be addressed where this
may be relevant (EC, 2009).
The new legal framework supporting cooperation, sharing of information and
resources shall also detail the organisation, structures, responsibilities and tasks of
stakeholders within the common EU CG. The institutional and legal structures should
no longer be heterogeneous but rather homogeneous using cooperative and sustainability
principles as the driving force.
3.3 FSSD 3rd Level Implementation Strategy
The FSSD strategy towards success should start from an agreed definition of
what to be achieved in our case the European Coast Guard: a new comprehensive,
cross-border inter-agencies framework for better coordination of coast guard functions
and activities at EU regional level, based on the success principles described above. To
ensure ownership and commitment, the EU CG establishment process shall involve all
stakeholders performing coast guard functions at national and EU level. Generating
commitment to change requires that each participant can clearly see the necessity to do
so or otherwise the system will maintain its current status quo. The EU CG should add
value to the existing user communities by adding more information than what is now
available within their sectorial systems and should also facilitate the development of new
user communities interested in the holistic maritime picture (policy makers, emergency
coordinators, search and rescue activities, law enforcement, maritime intelligence).
The use of Directives and regulations is the effective method for the development and
implementation of EU legislation and so far was successfully used in the maritime
domain, as proved by the existing EU agencies and associated cooperative maritime
systems (EMSA and its operational systems SSN, EU LRIT DC, CSN, IMDatE;
M. Chintoan-Uta, J. Ramos Silva 189
© 2016 The Author. Journal Compilation © 2016 European Center of Sustainable Development.
FRONTEX and the EUROSUR system, EFCA and the VMS system) all developed
based on clear legal framework. As all sectorial policies and systems are based on EU
legal requirements, the same approach should be followed for the EU CG as well. This
will provide a clear vision of the goals to be achieved, the role and responsibility of each
stakeholder and the means to monitor the implementation progress and collect feedback.
Organisations do not act randomly. They have rules that define how parts interact, what
are their roles and the boundaries of decentralised power versus the responsibility to act
towards the collective vision. A EU CG Directive will provide all actors with a clear legal
foundation that removes any barrier of cooperation and data/resource sharing and
establish the required collaborative environment.
This seems to be the chosen way forward as declared by its political leaders who have
provided a legislative proposal towards the end of 2015(Junkers, 2015).Now it is the turn
of the MSs to demonstrate their commitment towards improved common maritime
governance by supporting the EC proposal towards the final stages of approval by the
European Parliament and the Council.
3.4 FSSD 4th level Actions for EU CG implementation
The 4th level is used to define and prioritise concrete actions in support of
effective implementation of the strategy. This step is important as will provide the
structure of an action plan, deadlines and deliverables, roles and responsibilities. In our
EU CGuse-case the recommended actions towards implementation of the FSSD strategy
Allocation of proper resources (financial, human, assets, information). Without
adequate and accessible funding and resources any project will remain at the level of
intention and therefore these aspects should not be overlooked or underestimated. This
aspect is well described in the EC proposal which foresee important resources in support
of the new tasks, including: annual operational budget of 238 686 000 Euro additional 10
000 000 Euro for purchasing of equipment complementing that provided by MSs,
additional budget supporting cooperation with other EU agencies and with neighbouring
third countries (5 000 000 Euro) and 602 new staff members (EC/671, 2015).
Sustainable development principles8 should be at the core of the EU CG
framework, which should be developed as a tool to achieve the long-term stability and
security of the EU maritime economy and environment. These principles are based on
integrated decision making (Dernbach, 2003)meaning that the EU CG governance
model shall ensure that all aspects (economic, environmental, social) are incorporated
into the decision-making process and not treated separately. One principle of Rio
Declaration states that peace, development and environmental protection are
interdependent and indivisible and the governmental decisions concerning security
should be protective of the environment, economic development, and social
190 European Journal of Sustainable Development (2016), 5, 2, 181-196
Published by ECSDEV, Via dei Fiori, 34, 00172, Rome, Italy
The EC proposal is focusing on border control and illegal immigration aspects
as it was mainly developed as a reactive solution to an urgent border security problem
rather than a long-term initiative for sustainable development of the EU maritime
domain. However, all aspects are mentioned in the proposal, albeit in general terms,
therefore there is room to develop the governance mechanism towards effective
framework for sustainable development. This will certainly be one of the main challenges
of the new EU CG organisation.
The EU CG shall be supported by a cooperative governance mechanism based
on the notion of common but differentiated responsibilities, which recognizes that each
stakeholder must play their part within the agreed framework and be accountable for
their contribution. This approach is outlined in Article 5 of the proposal stating that
European integrated border management is a shared responsibility of the European Border and Coast
Guard Agency and the national authorities responsible for border management(EC/671, 2015).
Furthermore, Articles 51, 52 and 53 provide a wide framework for cooperation both
within EU (agencies and organisations) and internationally, therefore the EU CG
proposal creates a favourable environment for cooperative governance. The challenge
will be to translate the available political framework into effective operational
Existing restricting data policies and regulations shall be adjusted to support
cooperation and information exchange. This should include not only governmental data
but also the information collected by and available within industry and private
organizations (SAT-AIS, classification societies, Lloyds List Intelligence, etc.). Final aim
should be to achieve an inter-connected shared maritime domain awareness capability
that links all relevant sources of information. This has to be supported by standardised
data format and interoperability standards. Whilst this aspect is covered in general terms
in Section 2 of the proposal Information exchange and data protection”, the participation of
private sector is not explicit, creating the risk to leave outside one of the important
Achieving sustainability is not a trivial process that can be completed overnight.
The recommended approach is for progressive integration from the present point
toward sustainability in each of its facets. Starting from the procedural integration
addressing the maritime border security problem, the EU CG can develop towards more
substantive integration of all elements of sustainable maritime development.
Dedicated communication and awareness campaign is needed to help
stakeholders understanding the concept of EU CG, setting-up, requirements and
expectations, roles and responsibilities.
Although the EC proposal include some of the above mentioned actions, if adopted it
M. Chintoan-Uta, J. Ramos Silva 191
© 2016 The Author. Journal Compilation © 2016 European Center of Sustainable Development.
has to be complemented by a detailed action plan supported by all stakeholders. Lessons
learned during the first phase of the Common Information Sharing Environment
initiative should be used to improve the planning and implementation approach.
3.5 FSSD 5th level Supporting tools
Sustainable development, cooperative governance and decision making process,
integrated systems, data sharing, joint operations within international environment are all
well-established concepts and activities addressed and managed throughout the world in
the last 30 years. There is a wealth of information, studies and tools available for each,
providing effective support to any initiative towards sustainability.
In our particular case of the EU CG the following categories of means and tools
have been identified:
Existing EU regulatory framework supporting sustainable development,
integrated policy, data sharing and standardisation (i.e. EU Integrated Maritime Policy,
Blue Growth Policy);
Previous work done by the EU CG Forum paving the cooperation of EU and
national organisation with coast guard functions;
Good number of projects and studies performed under the EU Common
Information Sharing Environment initiative demonstrating solutions for cooperation and
ExistingEU maritime surveillance systems (SSN, LRIT, SAT-AIS, EUROSUR,
VMS) providing information and technical support ;
National and regional coast guards (likeUSCG)and other maritime cooperation
arrangements (NATO, Global Maritime Partnership) which provide models and lessons
learned during large scale cooperation projects;
Sustainable development tools and guidelines (UN sustainable development
policy and programme, EU sustainable development network, FSSD, Integrated
Sustainable Assessment);
The EC proposal for the European Border and Coast Guard Agency provides a
good starting framework for using these tools when developing the future
implementation strategies for improved EU maritime domain.
4. Outcome of the FSSD methodology
The main findings as detailed in the previous section are summarised in the
governance framework illustrated in Figure 3, which shows the levels of the FSSD
methodology, and the associated principles and actions to achieve a sustainable vision of
the EU CG concept. This framework can be used to support the finalisation and the
implementation of the EC proposal.
192 European Journal of Sustainable Development (2016), 5, 2, 181-196
Published by ECSDEV, Via dei Fiori, 34, 00172, Rome, Italy
Figure 1 - EU CG FSSD framework
(Source: - self-authored during research)
Using the FSSD methodology to assess the viability of the EU CG concept provides a
potential model of vision for introducing the principles of sustainable development in
the socio-technical environment of maritime domain awareness. If the reference values
are changed from the sectorial individualistic approach towards common contribution
for sustainable development, organizations might change as well towards a more
responsible and cooperative behaviour based on trust, transparency, democratic stability
and common economic goals. The above FSSD model is complemented by a set of
10 EU stakeholders organised on sector-based approach
good political vision for integrated approach - IMP, IMS, CISE
political framework for sustainable development - Blue Growth
slow implementation process
mixed mandatory and voluntary approach
align vision with stakeholders' expectations = commitment
establish mutual benefits - interaction, sharing, co-development
create feedback for continual improvement
create a whole-system perspective - EU maritime domain
adapt legal framework to support cooperation - EU CG Directive
create a horizontal multi-stakeholders governance body-
assign resources - financial, people, training, awareness, technical
harmonised management - system-thinking, PDCA cycle, FSSD
engage dialogue for legal framework
standardize data exchange model
organize awareness campaign within each user community
provide financial support for interoperability of systems
monitor progress against the agreed plan
existing EU legal framework
existing maritime systems
management and interoperability standards
sustainable development frameworks
training and learning tools
M. Chintoan-Uta, J. Ramos Silva 193
© 2016 The Author. Journal Compilation © 2016 European Center of Sustainable Development.
guidelines (Table 3) to support the creation of comprehensive strategies for the
implementation of integrated maritime frameworks at any level.
Table 3 Guidelines for EU CG governance model
(Source: - self-authored during research)
Adopt global
system and
sectors and
Limits impact on
resources and
Elevate EU CG
as main
component of
maritime safety
and security
Align EU CG
vision with
Efficient use of
available resources
Ownership and
for participation
engagement of all
Supporting all
creating trust
Awareness of
and cross-sector
Create identity,
clarify role and
Create supporting
legal framework
Remove data
sharing barriers
enforcement and
legitimacy &
Supports social
needs and
Support ecological
actions and
Ensure equality
and ownership
Create integrated
EU CG culture
learning and
of new
Create awareness
of environmental
Create identity,
knowledge and
Create technical
Provide clarity
Integration of
standards and
Acceptance and
Create dialogue,
and feedback
learning and
Ensure awareness,
Create common
194 European Journal of Sustainable Development (2016), 5, 2, 181-196
Published by ECSDEV, Via dei Fiori, 34, 00172, Rome, Italy
The table indicate the reasoning of recommended actions using as reference the main
pillars of the sustainable development principles the social, economic and
environmental aspects and as well their influence on the governance aspect. Used
together, the framework model (figure 3) and the guidelines (table 3) can provide a new
tool supporting the development and implementation of a new vision for the EU
maritime border control.
The post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals calls for global partnership to
build peace through effective, open and accountable public institutions using a science-
based and action-oriented approach for integrating the interdependent dimensions of
sustainable development: economic, social, environmental and governance (UN SG,
Since its initiation in 2009, the EU Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) and the
associated Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE) project have achieved
important steps towards improving the EU Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) in line
with the UN goals. Building blocks have been identified, user communities were brought
together to discuss the cooperation framework, operational culture was changed towards
data sharing and integrated technical systems. Several large scale cooperative maritime
systems are operated at EU level and they have evolved from sector-oriented systems
towards inter-operable platforms able to exchange data with any other external
system.However, the EU experience shows that it is not easy to establish new practices
even through common agreement, and conflicts and different interpretations tend to
appear. It is therefore necessary to steer the implementation of new visions and strategies
in order to guarantee their viability and the sustainable development principles can
provide effective support in this respect.
The unprecedented dimensions of migration to Europe via sea routes are posing
new challenges which cannot be tackled by the traditional sector-national-based
approach. New governance and operational models are required to ensure safety, security
and sustainability of the EU maritime domain. Cooperation is necessary because
complex crises are characterized by multidimensionality and diversity of many actors
involved both at local and international level. This complexity cannot be handled by a
single state and it requires a multi-layered response which combines various components
pertaining to the political, security, and humanitarian environment and which
furthermore adapts to the different stages of the crisis(Tardy, 2013).In addition,
cooperation has proved to optimize the available resources and prevent duplication,
increase the reactivity to the crisis and the general effectiveness and impact.
Changing towards a sustainable way forward in the maritime domain is possible if
political will, good governance and the necessary resources are mobilised to strengthen
the common goals and if decision is taken for working together. All stakeholders will
benefit from a cooperative approach by having access to enriched layers of information
especially when risks or threats are trans-boundary and exceeds the individual capability
for efficient management. Certainly, hurdles will appear, but the establishment of the
M. Chintoan-Uta, J. Ramos Silva 195
© 2016 The Author. Journal Compilation © 2016 European Center of Sustainable Development.
European Border and Coast Guard Agency might be an important step forward towards
achieving these goals if implemented on sustainable development principles.
Disclaimer: - The content of this article does not reflect the official opinion of the
European Maritime Safety Agency. Responsibility for the information and views
expressed in the article lies entirely with the authors.
Dernbach, J. C. (2003). Achieving sustainable development: The Centrality and multiple facets of integrated
decision making. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies.
EC 1406. (2002). EMSA Founding Regulation. EU Official Journal.
EC 2007. (2004). FRONTEX Founding Regulation. EU Oficial Journal.
EC. (2009). Legal aspects of maritime monitoring and surveillance data. EC.
EC. (2014/451). Next steps with CISE for the EU maritime domain.
EC 35. (2005). Directive on ship-source pollution and on the introduction of penalties for infringements. EC.
EC 490. (2015). Managing the refugees crisis: immediate operational, budgetary and legal measures under the European
Agenda on Migration. EC.
EC 9. (2014). Open and secure global maritime domain: elements for a European Union maritime security strategy. EC.
EC/671. (2015).
documents/docs/regulation_on_the_european_border_and_coast_guard_en.pdf. Retrieved from
Harder, J.W., Robertson, P. J., & Woodward, H.(2004). The Spirit of the New Workplace: Breathing Life
into Organizations. Organization Development Journal.
Hollande. (2015). EU Coast Guard proposal. Politico.
ICF. (2014). Study on the feasibility of improved co-operation between bodies carrying out European Coast Guard functions.
IMO. (2013). A concept of Sustainable Maritime Transportation System. IMO.
Junkers, J. (2015). State of the Union . EC.
Mogherini. (2015). Can Europe stop migrants drowning? The daily beast.
Montouri, L. (2000). Organizational Longevity:integrating systems thinking, learning and conceptual
complexity. Journal of Organizational Change Management.
Natural Step. (2015). Retrieved from The Natural Step:
Spangenberg J. (2010). A European methodology for sustainable development strategy reviews. Environmental
Policy and Governance, 123-134.
Tardy. (2013). Fighting piracy of the coast of Somalia. EU ISS.
UN SG. (2015). The road to dignity by 2030: ending poverty, transforming all lives and protecting the planet. UN.
Wadden. (1994). Wadden Sea Maritime Safety and Pollution Prevention of Shipping. EC.
196 European Journal of Sustainable Development (2016), 5, 2, 181-196
Published by ECSDEV, Via dei Fiori, 34, 00172, Rome, Italy
... Under the unprecedented wave of migration towards the EU, especially via the Mediterranean sea routes since 2015, the agency under Regulation (EU) 2016/1624 gained a revalued new mandate embracing the new objectives, for instance the shared coordination of coast guard functions at EU-level (Chintoan-Uta & Silva, 2016); or even more generally according to Ferraro and De Capitani (2016), some "fire brigade" tools (p. 9), where the agency is entitled to purchase its resources, to conduct its search and rescue operations or to organize and coordinate rapid border interventions; and furthermore establishing new functionalities, for instance the assessment of available resources in the Member States (Blockmans, 2016). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Influx of migrants is considered as a threat to the host country even when it is generally believed that migration offers opportunities to the host state. Regular and solicited migration may be perceived as an opportunity to host societies, but unsolicited or mass migration usually provokes hostility in the country of arrival. The EU began to experience unprecedented migratory stream in 2014. Germany’s shares of first-time asylum seekers in the EU rose from 35% in 2015 to 60% in 2016 with Germany seemingly representing the home of many migrants that entered the EU between 2014 and 2016. The study was conducted using an explanatory case study to answer the question on why the influx of migrants is considered as a threat and a descriptive case study research examines and describes opportunities offer to host country by the influx of migrants. In general, as a research framework, a qualitative research method was carried out on the phenomenon while content analysis was used to analyze regional and national newspapers in Germany covering the 2014-2016 period in relation to the purpose of the study. The findings on RQ1 revealed that influx of migrants into Germany has a causal relationship with social, political and security threats noticed in Germany during the period under review, while the findings of RQ2 showed that demographic benefits acclaimed to always accompany migration are not immediate. Recommendations were made for further studies to be conducted on the influx of migrants or mass migration of unsolicited migrants in the so-called “immigrant countries” or “immigrant friendly societies”.
Full-text available
This paper argues that the environmental conditions of global society are generating a significant change in the nature of the organizational species. In particular, we posit that the mechanistic bureaucratic model of organization is being replaced by a new form of organization that reflects the characteristics of a living being. We first discuss essential properties of all living systems as determined by the “new science” emerging from contemporary research across the natural sciences. This research demonstrates that living systems comprise interconnected components whose interactions generate a self-organizing entity that coevolves with the broader system of which it is a component part. We then identify various “signs of life” evident in the organizational world, as manifested in the numerous changes already taking place that are congruent with a shift towards a living systems perspective. The bulk of the paper then extends these observations by specifying in more concrete terms the key qualities of a healthy organization being. These qualities are discussed in terms of four general themes, namely, purpose, governance, membership, and rewards. We conclude the paper by pointing out that, ultimately, the animation of an organization entails making systemic changes so as to no longer deny the heart and soul of its members, but instead to release their spirits and let them soar.
An examination of organizational Darwinism – survival of the fittest – via systems theory provides the foundation for a related analysis of the learning organization and the kinds of leaders necessary to pilot organizations through uncertain environments fraught with turbulence. Such environmental changes include the revolutionization of information, fast-paced technological change, the dissolution of national boundaries and cultural barriers to communication, and changing values.
In 2005 the EU Environment Directorate initiated the production of a guidebook for peer reviews of national sustainable development strategies (NSDSs), which was published in 2006. Its objective is to support EU member states planning to evaluate their respective NSDS, supporting and stimulating all potential participants. It describes how to initiate, start, lead and conclude an evaluation process, and suggests, based on European experiences, a spectrum of methods available for this purpose. During a Commission-sponsored trial period, 2006/2007, the Netherlands was the only country to make use of this offer. However, the renewed EU Sustainable Development Strategy (EUSDS) calls for regular (peer) reviews of NSDS. Using this specific review instrument is recommended as part of a mutual learning exercise, which might stimulate a self-organized convergence of NSDSs, and better vertical integration, without establishing new competences and mechanisms on the EU level. Two new elements are suggested, a simple ‘pressure–policy matrix’ (PPM), supporting comprehensiveness control, and the possibility of patchwork evaluations, based on the systematique of the matrix. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Integrated decisionmaking is the foundational principle of sustainable development. Other principles, including the precautionary approach or principle, intergenerational equity, and public participation, all depend on integrated decisionmaking. Unsustainable development results from the fragmentation of decisionmaking into economic, security, environmental, and social categories. Thus, sustainable development requires that fragmentation in decisionmaking be eliminated - that environmental and social concerns be integrated into economic and security decisionmaking. This integration can and should be done in many ways. Decisionmaking processes can be integrated according to their objective, the resources they affect, the activities on which they are based, the place in which activities take place, and the time over which their effects will be felt. A variety of legal and policy tools can be integrated into the decisionmaking process. In addition, the actions of multiple decisionmakers can be integrated with each other. The foundational aspect of integrated decisionmaking has substantial practical consequences for the achievement of sustainable development, for it suggests that the achievement of sustainable development will depend to a great degree on the extent to which integrating legal and analytical tools can be devised and employed. The many forms of integrated decisionmaking suggest a set of important law and policy tools for achieving sustainable development - tools whose potential we have only begun to exploit.
Fighting piracy of the coast of Somalia
  • Tardy
Tardy. (2013). Fighting piracy of the coast of Somalia. EU ISS.
FRONTEX Founding Regulation
EC 2007. (2004). FRONTEX Founding Regulation. EU Oficial Journal.
EU Coast Guard proposal
  • Hollande
Hollande. (2015). EU Coast Guard proposal. Politico.
Can Europe stop migrants drowning? The daily beast
  • Mogherini
Mogherini. (2015). Can Europe stop migrants drowning? The daily beast.
EMSA Founding Regulation
EC 1406. (2002). EMSA Founding Regulation. EU Official Journal.
Directive on ship-source pollution and on the introduction of penalties for infringements
EC 35. (2005). Directive on ship-source pollution and on the introduction of penalties for infringements. EC.