The acting Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, and the Minister of Internal Administration of Portugal, Eduardo Cabrita, met today in Valença do Minho and in Pontevedra to discuss matters of the common agenda between the two countries on matters of the Interior.
On the occasion of the inauguration of the interconnection of the SIVE border surveillance systems (Comprehensive External Surveillance System) and SIVICC (Integrated Vigilance, Command and Control System) on the northern border between Spain and Portugal, both ministers have attended, in the Civil Guard Command of Pontevedra, an operational demonstration of the capabilities of the systems and their interconnection that allows the exchange of information, images and traces of the radars
The SIVE and SIVICC systems constitute an early warning tool to control maritime borders and fight against the various illicit traffics and are an effective instrument to save the lives of migrants who try to reach our coasts by sea by irregular means.
The ministers congratulated each other on the interconnection in the northern zone and the culmination of this important project, which means an increase and an improvement in cooperation in the Interior between Spain and Portugal. In addition, this project is key in the development of the European System of Border Surveillance EUROSUR, which allows the exchange of operational information, directly and in real time, between the National Coordination and Border Surveillance Centers of the EU Member States.
This interconnection in the northern area of both countries joins the existing one in the Portuguese-Spanish south border since January 2017.
Another issue addressed by both ministers has been cooperation in the field of Civil Protection and the prevention of forest fires. A matter of maximum interest in which both have been willing to provide the necessary assistance in case of major fires in border areas.
In this regard, the signature on November 21, 2018, during the XXX Spanish-Portuguese Summit held in Valladolid, of an "Additional Protocol on mutual assistance in border areas" that will allow them to collaborate in a more agile and efficient manner in case of forest fires and other catastrophes in transboundary areas. The ministers expressed their satisfaction with the additional capabilities that the Rescue European Rescue Mechanism can provide, with a reserve of means, including firefighting aircraft and helicopters.
They also congratulated the success of the Fourteenth Luso-Spanish Civil Protection Commission on July 2, highlighting the agreement to hold two joint cross-border regional meetings to improve cooperation with both the Spanish autonomous communities and the Portuguese Districts with greater involvement in disaster management in the vicinity of the Portuguese-Spanish border.
In matters of police cooperation, the Ministers stressed that the Police and Customs Cooperation Centers (CCPA) are a model of consolidated cooperation, in joint actions of the authorities of both countries, to reinforce the prevention and fight against cross-border crime .
Likewise, they have valued the collaboration in the field of police training, given that every year members of the Security Forces of both countries participate in the command and specialization courses in the Training Centers in Spain and Portugal. Grande-Marlaska and Cabrita have agreed to study the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that will help make these exchanges more extensive and beneficial.
Ministers have also highlighted cooperation in the fight against terrorism and have agreed to expand it with activities on training for the prevention of terrorist actions.
They have also evaluated the results obtained by the European Commissions project and the Safe Tourism operation. Both projects allow that in tourist areas of Spain and Portugal members of the Security Forces of the two countries provide a police service of proximity to the citizen in their own language, either Portuguese or Spanish.
Finally, the ministers have addressed cooperation at the European level and especially in those issues that focus on current migration within the European Union. In this regard, it should be emphasized that Spain and Portugal support that the European Union's migration policy must have a comprehensive and comprehensive approach based on prevention at source and cooperation with third States.