Interreg MED Programme logo

Deadline: Jun 6, 2019  

 Maritime Affaires and Fisheries
 Low-Carbon Economy
 Natural Resources
 Maritime transport
 Culture and Development
 Cross-border cooperation
 Euro-Mediterranean Relations







Maritime surveillance

Background information on axis 4

Priority Axis 4: Enhancing Mediterranean Governance.

The Priority Axis 4 aims to contribute to a dialogue on macro regional and sea basin strategies in the Mediterranean and to generate cooperation and consensus raising among Mediterranean regions and participating countries on issues currently lacking common agreements and operational plans.

Specific objective 1: To support the process of strengthening and developing multilateral coordination frameworks in the Mediterranean for joint responses to common challenges.

As the MED Programme aims to benefit from and contribute to the framework of already existing macro-regions and other possible strategic framework emerging in the future, it is opting for specific projects which can facilitate appropriate tools and mechanism to ease the implementation of better governance and thematic integration in the Mediterranean.

This objective will be reached by a “Platform of national authorities project” programmed under the Axis 4, and with the financing of specific projects emanating from the work of intergovernmental and interregional working groups under the Platform initiative.

The Mediterranean area is one of the most heterogeneous EU cooperation areas. Geographical, economic and political contexts can vary significantly from one region to another and implementation of shared operational plans on the overall area in key sectors like maritime safety, transports, energy or pollution and environmental protection is challenging.

1.2 INTERREG MED Programme innovative architecture

The MED 2014-2020 Programme is committed to the development of a new thematic and methodological basis in order:

  • -  to seek the improvement of the quality of the contents and aims of the programme, pursuing the development already started in the 2007-2013 programming period;

  • -  to respect the requirements of the Regulations recalling for more thematic concentration;

  • -  to answer the demands of the actors of the European territorial cooperation in the challenging socio-economic context of the Mediterranean.

The three thematic Axis of the Programme – innovation, energy and environment – are complemented by a fourth cross cutting Axis devoted to the enhancement of the capacities of the national and regional authorities to contribute to the governance efforts in the


During the 2014-2020 programming period, the Interreg MED Programme participating States have invested in the innovative Axis 4, tackling the need to reinforce governance efforts in the Mediterranean Region. In fact, they acknowledged the need to improve the coordination of policies and actions to ensure more informed use of public funds and seize additional opportunities for sustainable development and growth.

The Interreg MED architecture1 is composed of four typologies of projects (see section 2.1 of the Programme Manual for further information on the types of projects):

  • -  Modular projects

  • -  Horizontal projects

  • -  Governance platform project - PANORAMED

  • -  Future Strategic projects

In line with the governance approach of the Axis 4 as well as the nature and purposes of Panoramed, the strategic projects to be funded represent the fourth category of project that complete the architecture of the INTERREG MED Programme.

They must be the result of the overall approach guiding the process implemented within the PANORAMED project; namely a sound contribution and coordination with the key initiatives and dynamics currently active in the Mediterranean.

The new architecture is aimed at making the project implementing simpler and more flexible, adapting to the research of both concrete and transferable solutions. Links between the domains of content and policy become tighter and are backed up by communication and capitalization activities structured on the programme level.

The Cooperation programme developed by the participating States and validated by the European Commission, is completed with Terms of Reference that detail the aims of each Specific Objective.

1.3 Axis 4 governance project PANORAMED

The above described approach is reflected in the top down governance project PANORAMED, an evidence-based platform designed directly by the Programme participating States and aiming at setting up a multilevel intergovernmental dialogue among national, regional, European and international key Mediterranean actors.

1 See Interreg MED Website « Types of projects » : my-project/types-of-projects/

Thematic Axis 1 - Innovation, 2 – Low carbon economy, 3 – Natural and cultural resources

Cross cutting Axis 4 – Mediterranean Governance


PANORAMED platform is an innovative project that joins 21 ministerial and regional authorities of the European States of the Mediterranean shores, from Portugal to Cyprus, including three IPA Programme States, namely Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. The partnership is complemented by Associated partners represented by the major Mediterranean actors to concretely act complementarities and synergies in defining strategic projects and contributing to shared policies and frameworks of actions.

These partners are the Union for the Mediterranean, the United Nations Environmental Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan (Barcelona Convention), the BLUEMED Initiative for research and innovation in the Mediterranean, the EUSAIR macro regional strategy facility point, the Conference for Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), the programmes ENI CBC MED, INTERREG ADRION, INTERREG BALKAN MED, INTERREG EUROPE, INTERACT.

Three Directorates General of the European Commission accompany the initiative. That are: DG REGIO (Regional Policy), DG MARE (Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) and DG NEAR (Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations).

Steered by the Spanish Ministry of Finance the project currently focuses on two key sectors, namely coastal and maritime tourism and maritime surveillance. Innovation will be integrated from 2019.

Concretely this intergovernmental discussion forum will be fed with contents also coming from other programmes, initiatives and policies, striving towards a coherent and coordinated contribution to governance processes active in the Mediterranean Region, therefore supporting a more strategic vision of the whole area. Approved in June 2017, with a nine million euro total budget and running until spring 2022, the project ensures a medium/long time perspective and has the potential to give a positive contribution to new EU strategies in the Mediterranean beyond the time length of the INTERREG MED Programme.

The overarching goal of the top down governance initiative is to reinforce the capacity of national and public authorities to contribute in a coordinated way to current and future strategies and initiatives at Mediterranean basin level. Contextually the aim is to enhance their capacity to liaise related developments with national and regional policies and multiannual action plans to enhance complementarities and facilitate a more informed alignment of diverse public funds.

Specifically, PANORAMED has the following objectives:

1. to identify and to promote strategic projects, this terms of reference refers to, regarding coastal and maritime tourism and maritime surveillance, starting from an analysis of the impact of cooperation projects funded in the framework of the 2007-2013 and 2014- 2020 programming periods;

2. to strengthen the relationships among Institutions that promote strategies, programs, projects and initiatives for the Mediterranean and to promote a systemic vision of the Mediterranean policies, sharing governance tools to improve the policies themselves.

These objectives are consistent with the 2014-2020 programming priorities but look forward the priorities identified in the next programming period 2021-2027.


2. The Mediterranean context

2.1. Anoverallview

The Mediterranean is increasingly taking on a central role on the political and socio-economic European and global scene, in fact EU and national policies and programmes, together with different initiatives, design and act their vision in the Mediterranean, witnessing a progressively more important investment of efforts and public funds.

This dynamic will take even higher relevance in the years to come. This entails progressively growing responsibilities and demands for reinforced institutional capacity of the diverse policy levels involved to cope with the challenges that the process implies.

In the perspective of the future definition of the main programmes related to the priorities of the next programming period, reinforcing further the constructive dialogue already active among the players involved in the definition and implementation of programmes, specific initiatives, strategies and flag ship projects in the Mediterranean is of strategic relevance.

In this framework, it is crucial to coordinate and strengthen synergies to design and implement medium-long terms shared framework of actions and policy approaches as well as quality projects and therefore efficient use of available resources and virtuous territorial impact and response.

This is a strategic pillar for the enhancement of sustainable social and economic growth in the Mediterranean, for strengthening relations between the Countries involved, reinforcing cohesion between territories and raising the awareness of citizens with regard to the identification of a common Mediterranean path, while respecting the specificities of each other.

The above-mentioned goals are coherent with the 2014-2020 INTERREG generation that has the potential to achieve greater impact and more effective use of funds to deliver Europe 2020 Strategy2.


Complementary to INTERREG, the EU Neighbourhood Policy, through its specific ENI CBC MED Programme, plays a key role in the Mediterranean region in promoting cooperation between EU and neighbourhood countries in sectors that are similar or complementary to those tackled by INTERREG. Furthermore, indicatively the same management scheme as INTERREG of launching calls and financing projects is applied and, at least for EU countries, the ‘programme clients’ are of the same nature: local and regional authorities, universities, research centres, thematically specialised agencies, associations, networks, private companies.

Beyond the EU Cohesion and Neighbourhood Policies, the Mediterranean context is further enriched not only by the cross border and interregional strands of INTERREG and by INTERACT, but also by numerous other initiatives, strategies, governance frameworks and financial schemes.

In the Adriatic-Ionian sub-basin, the evolution of the Maritime Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Seas of 2012 lead to the definition of the EU macro regional strategy EUSAIR active since 20143.

In the Western part of the Mediterranean, since early 2016 the 5+5 dialogue States have committed their efforts to jointly design, with the Directorate-General for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs (DG MARE) and the Union for the Mediterranean, the Initiative for the sustainable development of Blue Economy in the Western Mediterranean which was officially launched in late November 2017.

The United Nations Environment Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan (Barcelona convention) represents the unique legal framework binding the 21 States around the Mediterranean Sea and the European Union as contracting parties. One of its key strategies, the multiannual Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development, provides a strategic policy framework, until 2025, for securing a sustainable future for the Mediterranean region consistent with Sustainable Development Goals, which are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future. They address the global challenges identified, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice4. In this framework, for example, tourism can and must play a significant role in delivering sustainable solutions for people, the planet, prosperity and peace.

The Union for the Mediterranean works on key dossiers such as the already mentioned blue economy, environment, climate change, etc., supporting institutional dialogue, thematic

Additional EU initiatives and programmes have invested in the area specific thematic focus.

The EU Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME) supports the Directorate-General for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs (DG MARE) in developing and implementing two main policy areas, namely Integrated Maritime policy and the Common Fisheries policy, through specific calls for proposals focusing integrated governance of maritime and coastal affairs, integrated maritime surveillance, maritime spatial planning, marine data and knowledge sustainable economic growth, employment, innovation and new technologies, fisheries control and enforcement.

Horizon 2020 – A clearer Mediterranean by 2020, is a key pillar of the EU environmental strategy for the Mediterranean.

Its homonymous, the Horizon 2020 for Research and Innovation is the biggest EU programme ever with nearly 80 billion EUR of funding over 7 years, with specific actions focusing the Mediterranean.

In the same sector the Partnership on Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA) has launched its first call for proposals to support sustainable management of water and agro-food systems through Euro-Mediterranean partnerships.

The BLUEMED Initiative for the research and innovation promotes blue economy in the Mediterranean basin through a strategic agenda and framework for R&D, shared among EU Mediterranean States.

This complex scenario makes the Mediterranean basin a multifaceted and vibrant area of cooperation with enormous potentialities and important financial resources already invested, for steady and healthy prosperous growth for all segments of the population.

At different degrees, cooperation among the above mentioned key actors, initiatives, programmes is already included in respective agendas and acted, as it is recognised, incontestably, as the necessary way forward.

Notably, in the context of not yet fully recovered economy, EU and national budgets constraints, competitiveness pressure imposed by globalisation, particularity hard for regional, local authorities and insular dimension, new societal and economic challenges migration phenomena imposes, high level unemployment especially among youngsters, environmental and climate change pressures, security challenges and unstable socio-political situation, particularity in the East South part of the basin.

The definition of the Multiannual Financial Framework and Post 2020 policy framework and programmes represents the tools to ensure a successful and steady exit from the extraordinary measures undertaken in response to the economic and humanitarian crisis.

Equally, to ensure that the necessary preconditions for long-term sustainable development across Europe are in place.

2.2.A Focus on maritime surveillance

Considering specifically the maritime surveillance, the main findings are the following:

Maritime surveillance is getting more and more structured at national level;

Global surveillance systems are being implemented at EU and national level;

Global, integrated, or interconnected systems developed at EU and national level cannot cover all the needs for Mediterranean maritime surveillance;

- There is a large diversity of institutional, administrative and geographical situation in EU (+ IPA) Mediterranean coastal areas. It is barely conceivable to develop “standardised” observation systems in all these areas;

  • -  There is a need in the Mediterranean to improve local observation, data modelling and forecasting capacities close to the coast (pollution, small vessels...) in order to enhance predictive accuracy and awareness in support of a more focused maritime safety response activities;

  • -  Local and regional authorities have difficulties to access to marine pollution data managed at national and EU level;

  • -  There is a large amount (and diversity) of information generated at local and regional level. These data and information could be better shared with other geographical areas or institutional levels;

  • -  New technologies represent interesting perspective for (low coast) coastal surveillance (open data, algorithm, use of drones...);

  • - The EU Mediterranean surveillance system could be improved with a better share of data between EU/national systems and local/regional observation tools (ascending and
  • descending sharing of the information) and of the associated functional best practices;
  • - There are European initiatives that already contemplate the exchange of information and data (CISE, IMS....);
  • - There is a gap between EU MED countries and IPA countries (ALB, BiH and MNE) related to maritime surveillance systems as EU countries have such system in place and MED member states are part of EU initiatives and system like SAFESEANET, MARES, CLEANSEANET etc;
  • - A Mediterranean marine environment confronted to a strong and increasing pressure;
  • -  A sea characterised by high level maritime traffic, urban concentration, high tourism flows that represent high (and diverse) pollution sources;

  • -  Concern about pollution and hazards that represent increasing pressure (weather, HNS, invasive species, marine litter...);

  • -  Insufficient capacities in coastal areas to measure new and increasing risks/pollutions and to take them into account in local / regional planning and development strategies;

  • -  Positive perspectives offered by the development of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) Policies;

  • - Specific challenge in cross border areas confronted to administrative, legal, linguistic obstacles and different practices.

Enhanced multilevel maritime surveillance will help ensuring a more secure, safer, tailored and cleaner Mediterranean Sea. The commitment of relevant participating public authorities across different sectors is an essential requirement to ensure the later take up of the proposed solution at the basin scale.


3. Modus operandi: the strategic projects within the INTERREG MED

The strategic projects are “multilevel” projects implemented by partners able to influence or even better directly define policies. The actions foreseen must be inter-sectoral actions, strictly coherent and linked to each other and beyond this must converge towards a common objective of territorial development and justify a unitary implementation approach. The collective ownership of the strategic projects will enable them to translate into effective political leverage and showcase good examples of regional cooperation. On this basis, the strategic projects shall be considered as the initial concrete element of a broader and longer process able to facilitate the agreement and design of future planning and activities in the tackled themes. The strategic project should be implemented following a territorial, integrated, inclusive and participative approach. This means that the projects should facilitate the launch and reinforcement of a process that could be of interest forthe territories of the participating countries to Interreg MED Programme , involving all the relevant regional and local institutions as well as the local communities and the civil society.

The strategic projects promoted with this call, referred to the two themes "Coastal and Maritime Tourism" and "Maritime Surveillance", are in fact aimed:

  • -  to further improve the capacity of cooperation to add value to the investments made,

  • -  to influence the dynamics of territorial development and improvement of the governance tools,

  • -  to support/create synergies with international initiatives or commitments in the framework of international conventions/agreements;

  • -  to facilitate and prepare the scale up toward concrete wider and long-term initiatives, beyond the strategic projects themselves, and in Post 2020 perspective.

    In order to reinforce the impact of strategic projects, the maximum consistency must be ensured with the main guidelines and strategies of the European Union, such as, for example the provision of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and those of the Program participating Countries to decline together with a vision that targets the next programming period, anticipating the definition of adequate implementation procedures in response to the priorities of the post 2020.

    The quality of the strategic projects will depend on:

  • -  Consistency between project objectives with relevant legislative and policy frameworks at International, EU, national and regional level.

  • -  Involvement of key actors having the adequate position and competencies to propose or change norms, regulations and plans

  • -  Improvement of policy and programming instruments for enabling multilevel and transnational governance application.

  • -  Commitment of key actors to ensure policy support and mainstreaming of projects results.

  • -  Project management geared to strategic project objectives

  • -  Capacity to impact an extensive area of the MED territories

  • -  Capacity to involve partners from the southern shore of the Mediterranean (taking into account that in the implementation phase of the strategic projects, specific activities for the involvement of the partners from the southern shore of the Mediterranean shall be developed based on the Regulation of the European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) art 20.3 and 20.2 In particular, the countries from the southern shore of the Mediterranean could benefit from capacity building and dissemination activities.)

These Terms of References address only Strategic Projects.


4. Expectations for the specific objective related to maritime surveillance/governance

In the framework of this call, two specific topics have been identified, offering opportunities for two strategic projects: one tackling specifically, the governance issue and one focused on the environmental risks.

4.1. Main objectives of the strategic project/governance

The main objective of the project is to improve the maritime surveillance in the Mediterranean, especially through the promotion of better governance practices between the main institution involved at European, national, but also at Regional level.

In a nutshell, governance can be considered as the implementation of a set of devices (rules, standards, protocols, agreements, contracts...) to ensure better coordination of the stakeholders of an organization, of a territory, to take consensual decision and launch concerted actions.

In the field of Maritime surveillance, the processes and rules to produce, share and use

maritime data constitute a key issue. Different institutions and tools already exist at EU level to share information and better manage maritime activities (Safeseanet, Cleanseanet, Mares) or are being developed like the Common Information sharing Environment (CISE).

However, gaps remain in European coastal areas in order to ensure a comprehensive surveillance of marine activities (large and small vessels, merchant shipping, cruise ships, yachting, non-collaborative vessels...). Although, information produced cannot be fully exploited and used due to insufficient or inappropriate information channels between the different institutional levels.

In order to improve surveillance capacities, different issues should be tackled:

  • -  To improve surveillance capacities in geographical (or technical) areas where gaps are fund

  • -  To ensure that the different institutional levels are able to share ascending and descending information (from regional to EU level), and that objectives and processes are coherent and shared between the EU countries and with EU institutions.

In that perspective, multilevel governance agreements (or protocols) constitute a key issue and should be developed in coherence with the development of EU and transnational surveillance and information governance tools.

Due to time and budget constraints, the project will be focused on a limited number of pilot activities that will test the concrete implication of such multilevel governance approach for

specific maritime surveillance dimension and geographic areas (to be specified).

The objective is not to create a new system, platform or tool, but to progress on the conditions necessary for a better share of information and data between existing systems (governance, institutional agreements, technical requirements). When necessary, specific support can be provided to improve the surveillance/observation capacities at local and regional level.

The strategic project should take as reference the needs for innovation expressed by the maritime stakeholders, arising from their operational experience in managing maritime surveillance processes and systems at European, international, national, regional and local levels with impact in the Mediterranean Basin.

This should be based, inter alia, on:

  • The definition and work performed by the different user communities and their functions;

  • The results of the European and ETC strategic pilot-projects and studies addressing Maritime Surveillance and promoted by DG MARE, DG-MOVE, DG-ENV, DG-DIGIT, DG- ENTREPRISE, DG-RDI and JRC, Frontex;

  • The implementation of the MEDFISH4EVER declaration.

  • The Marine and Maritime Surveillance services developed in Copernicus.

    As part of the project activities, following the rules from the European Commission, the recourse to the technical support of stakeholders from the whole maritime sector (for instance the industrial sector) in capacity to provide solutions to be tested and validated (according to the concept developed by the consortium participants) might be relevant but will have to be approved beforehand..

Focus on the Integrated Multilevel Maritime Surveillance

By acknowledging the inherent complex framework of relations and competencies, it is important that Integrated Multilevel Maritime Surveillance in the Mediterranean Basin be addressed in the following specific perspectives:

• Cooperation within competent authorities addressing maritime surveillance information sharing at national, regional and local levels, promoting integration, interoperability and harmonization, by improving tools and fostering complementarity. This should be achieved through:

o The promotion of common cross-border/transboundary and cross-coordination mechanisms, and the choice of versatile and extensible maritime data-models that allows stakeholders to exchange valuable maritime information in a well- defined exchange framework;

o The increase of awareness regarding information sharing by promoting cost reduction measures through integration, by means of a common maritime services model that standardizes exchange patterns and provides information usage restriction enforcements to all parties, whenever and wherever necessary;

o The provision of joint/common information governance tools that allow for all parties to have a clear and transversal understanding of how the interoperable information is being used amongst functional partners.

• Cooperation in the Maritime Surveillance domain to address the existing gap in maritime surveillance between EU MED member states and non EU countries, namely IPA countries and countries from the southern shore of the Mediterranean.



Public link:   Only for registered users

Looking for a partnership?
Have a look at
Ma Région Sud!