GSB 7.1 Standardlösung

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The network

Political and legal framework

From a political perspective, the concept of an ‘optimised network’ was considered the most suitable organisational form for the Maritime Safety and Security Centre (MSSC). The MSSC network performs a number of different technical tasks through specialist experts with professional competence. As a construct, it is also flexible with respect to expansions and adaptations – especially in relation to national and international developments. The specific political and technical responsibilities entrusted to the agencies and institutions forming part of the MSSC are performed on the basis of applicable law. This includes safeguarding the departmental responsibilities and division of responsibilities between the Federal Republic and the states in accordance with German Basic Law.

Signed Administrative Agreement from 09/02/2017 by representatives of the Government and the coastal states. Signed Administrative Agreement (Vergrößerung öffnet sich im neuen Fenster) Signed Administrative Agreement from 09/02/2017 | Source: Reimo Schaaf / Eventconsult

In political terms, the MSSC constitutes an Administrative Agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany (in this case: the representatives of the different Federal Ministries) and the five coastal states, which was updated in 2005 and 2017. An excerpt from the preamble of the Administrative Agreement about the MSSC: “While preserving all of the existing divisions of legal responsibility, the partners have created a communication and cooperation network – the Maritime Safety and Security Centre – in the interest of national and international shipping, as well as the safety and security of the German coast, and effective and efficient task completion.”

Throughout Europe, the MSSC is considered a successful example of integrative maritime policy and effective subsidiarity, as well as a model of how to coordinate a broad range of coastguard-related activities.

The advantages of the network

The security agencies represented in the MSSC form a centralised network and act as a competence centre. Housing all of the network’s personnel under the same roof has a number of advantages:

  • The authorities (Federation/states) are equal partners within the network
  • Promotes active and intensive exchange of information and data, and speeds up and improves collaboration between the partners
  • Optimises collaboration between the partners while preserving the local and technical divisions of responsibility
  • Allows the partners to support each other
  • Day-to-day collaboration promotes a mutual understanding of each others’ duties
  • The systematic and, in part, joint coordination of resources optimises maritime surveillance and increases safety