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Parliamentary questions
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29 March 2018
Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-007458/2017

The overall objective of the Seahorse Mediterranean Network is to increase the capacity of the authorities of North African countries to tackle irregular migration and illicit trafficking by strengthening their border surveillance systems.

The project aims to strengthen the border authorities of North African countries and develop their capacity to share information and coordinate actions with their counterparts in EU Member States, notably the Ministries of Interior, reinforcing the efficiency of border and coast guard operations in the region. For the time being, Libya is the only partner country benefitting from this network.

The project leader is the Spanish Guardia Civil, which coordinates the implementation of operational activities related to the establishment of the information network and training.

The technical specifications for this regional network have been agreed and the tendering process is currently ongoing by the Spanish Guardia Civil with a view to install the necessary equipment in Libya as soon as possible.

The project also covers the procurement of the equipment needed(1) for setting up the secure network in the North African countries, allowing their connection by satellite to the National Coordination Centres of Eurosur (the European Border Surveillance system) in Italy, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, France, Spain and Portugal. No connection is foreseen with military authorities.

(1)The legal basis of the Development Cooperation Instrument, Regulation 1905/2006 (Title I, Article 2 para. 5) establishes that Community assistance under this regulation shall not be used to finance the procurement of arms or ammunition and operations having military or defence implications.

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