12. September 2018 Senatsempfang European Coast Guard Forum

Grußwort des Ersten Bürgermeisters, Dr. Peter Tschentscher.

Senatsempfang European Coast Guard Forum

Dear mister Wendrich,
dear mister Nagel,
dear ladies and gentlemen, 

welcome to the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. 

The authorities and organisations that safeguard the European borders and ensure the safety of our seas are charged with an enormous responsibility. 

On the success of their work depends the development of international trade and the trust that our citizens place in the European Union.

The European Coast Guard Functions Forum brings together 25 countries to develop strategies and lend each other their support. 

Chaired by Germany, the Forum focuses on joint training opportunities, a networking of coast guard departments and the possibility of manning coast guard ships with trans-national crews. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Hamburg has had its port for over 800 years. Over all of those centuries, the city has been protecting its sea trade. 

As early as 1623, Hamburg merchants took initiative and founded an admiralty to send armed ships out to protect Hamburg’s trade fleet against pirate attacks in the Atlantic. 

As a foreign trade metropolis, Hamburg is still especially dependent on the work of national and European protection authorities and organisations. 

As a city state, we are trying to do our part to work toward a close cooperation between European customs offices and other authorities. 

Hamburg is thankful that the results of the forum’s workshops will go on to be presented at the Hamburg Port Security Conference. 

Your thoughts and ideas will not only be useful to the coast guard departments, they will also help to further the development of benchmarks in the maritime shipping. 

To work together, we need to talk together. This is why the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) and the European Boarder and Coast Guard Frontex will work even harder in future to coordinate their efforts, improve their cooperation and do even better work. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Even though this is a forum to talk about the practical questions of coast protection and not politics, I would like to take this opportunity as First Mayor of Hamburg to comment briefly on the current discussion about the situation in the Mediterranean Sea. 

Many people fleeing war and persecution risk their lives by taking the dangerous route across the sea. 

It is our shared humanitarian duty to do whatever it takes to save people from drowning, to ensure refugee vessels reach safe harbours and to accept refugees into Europe according to the rules of national and European asylum law. 

I would like to thank all of you - and everyone who is helping the European Union live up to their political and humanitarian duties in this challenging situation. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Here in Hamburg, we have always had a special relationship to the sea, to seafaring, and to the dangers that come with it. 

We know: the securing of the waterways and the protection of Europe’s coastal borders is essential if we wish to maintain our prosperity. 

I wish to use this opportunity here at the European Coast Guard Functions Forum to thank all the people in our government agencies and authorities for their important work. 

I wish you a productive meeting, an enjoyable time in Hamburg and the best of luck with your work. 

Thank you.

Regierungserklärung

Bundespolitik

Der Senat