Italian Coast Guard Commandant Address
During the 5th Plenary Conference
Chios 12-14 September 2014
"Είναι μεγάλη τιμή που βρίσκομαι εδώ μαζί σας στη Χίο και φιλοξενούμαι από τον φίλο μου Δημήτριο Βαντιά. Ευχαριστώ".
Dear Colleagues,
Honorable Authorities,
Kind Guests,

I take you the heartfelt greetings on behalf of the Italian Minister of Infrastructure and Transport.

It is a real privilege to receive, from my friend Admiral Bantias, the baton of the European Coast Guard Functions Forum Chairmanship. Baton which is commitment, incitement and above all responsibility for doing.
I will dedicate to the mission that I am to accomplish the same determination, the same heart that have always been accompanying the passion for my job, the love for my mission, the respect and devotion for our common action.

Proficiency, professionalism, cooperation capability among Coast Guard Services, demonstrate it is truly possible to achieve integration of energies and resources by concrete deeds. Legal systems bestow roles and functions, but especially, give limits to the assigned tasks.
I do not hide to myself that the plurality of functions, the range of issues, we desire to share, represent, with the complexity of relationships among different interlocutors, the ground, along which, we will progress, towards the goal of a common awareness.
The awareness of this reality and the analysis of so far achieved results make the way ahead stimulating and fascinating.

For all this I feel the need, and the pleasure, to be grateful, first and foremost, to the Hellenic Coast Guard, to Vice Admiral Bantias, [thank you so much Dimitrios !], and to his outstanding staff, that have led the Secretariat, in the course of this Forum.
A special thanks goes to the European Union Institutions and to the Forum Secretariat, for their essential support to the development, the continuity and self-sufficiency of the project.
Without that cooperation, which embodies the essence of European values, reasoning today about the challenges of the future could translate into a fruitless inventory of assets to bequeath.
But the true capacity of the Forum is the skill at foreseeing and writing down today the script of a tale which is going to have other protagonists, other interpreters, but the same beneficiaries, for whom Coast Guard services represent life, work, hope, future.

And, for the purpose of writing a story that will be lived in the future, it is not enough to draft a list of our positive achievements or what we still plan to arrange for our sons.
That is why we are supposed to follow up on projects which we have built with mutual concurrence and make more intense the intercourse with all European Agencies on the pattern laid down up to the present.

Important documents of European Commission already appreciate Coast Guard Services Fora propulsive role, aiming at concurred positions on technical issues of common interest.
For which, it is necessary to structure and give, with adequate quickness, adequate responses to the addressed prodding.
They represent, indeed, the essential instrument to establish and push forward European strategies, in sectors of Coast Guard concern, functional to growth and development, true added value for a maritime economy, capable to avoid, markets' marginalization.
General awareness on "blue growth" must be deep-rooted on our common awareness, inspired by that joint fraternal cooperation which finds in Coast Guard Services forerunner factors of excellence.

Dear Colleagues, we have common objectives, a logo, a flag, a web-site and, in the next future, advanced specialist training programs for Coast Guard Functions.
Now let us try to give strength and support to this Forum of dialogue.
It seemed a dream only in two thousand nine, at the Fora of Genoa and Warsaw.
About this, allow me to address a quotation of sir Thomas Edward Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) "All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day, to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for, they may act their dreams, with open eyes, to make it possible ...".

We are being told that, as long as we can dream, we are still alive. And now it is up to us to lend our dreams to those who will come afterwards.
Still, for doing this with clear conscience, we are to keep our feet firmly on the ground to make concrete our projects.
May these projects have, of dream the ideals and of concreteness the courage.

I am grateful, then, for your support, for your heartfelt involvement that give me strength and confidence.
I cannot do without them for going ahead along our shared path, united by the will to contribute to reach – also by Coast Guard services – the goals of freedom, democracy, peace, solidarity and brotherhood embedded in the Treaty of the European Union.
It is in the name of these ideals, that I assume, the Chairmanship of this Forum.

Finally, I take this occasion to underline the tragedy of the Search and Rescue events for migrants, which have been deprived of the human dignity but which are already full of hope that they entrust to the SAR assets of the Italian Coast Guard, Navy and Guardia di Finanza.
Among the units involved, I would like to highlight the commitment of the merchant vessels – of different flags – that hardly work in order to ensure that the hope of the migrants will not sink at sea.

My gratitude to all the international maritime cluster who raise the flag of  fraternity!

Vice Admiral Felicio ANGRISANO

© Forum of the Heads of the Coast Guards
Functions of the European Union and
Schengen associated countries