We all depend on safe, secure and clean seas and oceans for prosperity and peace. It is through adequate maritime security that we can maintain the rule of law in areas beyond national jurisdiction and protect the EU strategic maritime interests which include
The European Union maritime security strategy (EUMSS) for the global maritime domain is a joint EU plan to improve the way in which the EU pre-empts and responds to these challenges. It is an overarching maritime security strategy against all challenges from the global maritime domain that may affect people, activities or infrastructures in the EU.
The strategy is built upon closer collaboration within the EU, across the regional and national levels. It seeks to increase awareness and ensure higher efficiency of operations.
A second objective is to protect EU maritime interests worldwide. The EUMSS strengthens the link between internal and external security, and couples the overall European security strategy with the integrated maritime policy.
By working together more closely and planning ahead, the EU and its Member States can make better use of existing resources, and enter more effective and credible international partnerships.
The EUMSS is complemented with an action plan designed to drive the implementation of the EUMSS forward. All maritime security stakeholders in the EU – across sectors and borders – are called upon to participate directly in a cooperative setting.
The action plan was adopted in 2014 and revised in 2018. The revision seeks to ensure that the policy response remains fit for current and future challenges, in line with political priorities in a rapidly changing security environment, and taking into consideration the ongoing work in the area of security and defence and recently adopted EU legislation, policies and other initiatives.
The revised action plan brings together both internal and external aspects of the Union’s maritime security. The actions foreseen in the action plan contribute to the implementation of the EU global strategy, the renewed EU internal security strategy 2015-2020, the Council conclusions on global maritime security, and the joint communication on international ocean governance. A the same time, it explores the full potential offered by the three separate but mutually reinforcing EU initiatives in the field of defence: the coordinated annual review on defence (CARD), the permanent structured cooperation (PESCO), and the future European defence fund.
The new action plan has an horizontal part (A) clustered in 5 key areas, dedicated to crosscutting issues and a new regional part (B), where the EU seeks to address global challenges through regional responses to key maritime hotspots both at home – at European sea basins, like the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, and internationally – the Gulf of Guinea, Horn of Africa-Red Sea or South-East Asia. (Read more)
If you are involved in maritime security at EU or national level, there are many opportunities for you to get involved. Please ask your relevant authority about local and sectorial priorities. You can also find professional information in the EU Maritime Forum.
Some success stories so far:
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Improving the coordination between maritime authorities and across borders is a long-winded work. The key to success is interoperability: the technical ability to exchange information between systems that were developed completely independent from each other. The EU’s Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE) is doing exactly that, and just last week, the European Commission has released a staff working document to present its progress so far.
Last week, the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy adopted the second implementation report on the EU Maritime Security Strategy. The purpose of this Joint Staff Working Document is to give readers an overview of the activities currently under way at EU and national level and to take stock of the implementation the Maritime Security Strategy Action Plan as reported by Member States.
EU ministers have backed a set of actions to make Europe's seas safer and to protect the EUs maritime security interests from the threats which it faces. The Action Plan, part of the EU's Maritime Security Strategy adopted in June 2014, takes a cross-border and cross-sector approach to confronting the seaborne perils which the EU is confronted with. The plan is also central to the EU's commitment to boost the maritime economy since investments in the European maritime domain can only be prosperous if the seas are safe and secure.