[Source: EEAS] 27/01/2021 – On 25 January we launched the first pilot of the new Coordinated Maritime Presences (CMP) concept in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of West Africa. In addition to our existing naval operations in the Mediterranean and in the Western India Ocean, we are strengthening our role as a global maritime security provider.
On 23 January, pirates hijacked a Turkish cargo ship off the coast of West Africa, killing one crewmember and kidnapping 15. According to the International Maritime Bureau of the International Chamber of Commerce (link is external), 195 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships have been registered worldwide last year, 33 more than in 2019.
As the second largest exporter and the third largest importer in the world, the EU rely heavily on maritime transport and infrastructure. However, secure maritime routes are not only important for us: without them, about 90% of the goods currently available are at risk of simply not reaching their customers around the world. Thus, ensuring a safe maritime environment is a global public good that need international cooperation to fend off the increasing challenges related to geo-strategic rivalries, piracy and organised crime.
Enhancing the EU’s maritime presence
Because of this growing maritime insecurity, many partners, coastal countries and the maritime industry are asking the EU to assume a more prominent role. Not only in our immediate vicinity, but also further away. The EU has the technical capacity and the resources to address many of these challenges, from tackling all sorts of seaborne criminal activities to natural or man-made disaster response.
“The EU has the capacity and the resources to address many challenges at sea, from tackling all sorts of seaborne criminal activities to natural or man-made disaster response.”