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The Horn of Africa is an area of intensive maritime trade, as well as a centre of migratory routes towards Europe. For the EU, cooperation with the regional countries leading to more security and stability is thus of great importance. This is why the EU deploys a naval military operation off the coast of Somalia and, on shore in Somalia, a military and a civilian mission. Following the EU’s integrated approach, all activities are conducted in close coordination with other EU activities such as development cooperation, humanitarian aid, trade or diplomacy as well with other national, regional or international partners.
With 60% of the oceans relying outside nations jurisdiction, ensuring good governance at sea and securing the maritime domain becomes a challenge for every international actor. With a revised Action Plan and a Maritime Security Strategy under the umbrella of the Global Strategy, the EU has been working closely with international partners towards a safer maritime environment and a sustainable use of its resources.
For the past 10 years the EU has successfully deployed a CSDP military naval operation to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia. Today the threat of piracy has been minimised. At the same time the operation was tasked with monitoring fishing activity and reporting any illegal activity. Improved security conditions now allow communities to engage in fishing activities supported by EU and UN missions and initiatives.
Ten years ago, in December 2008 a piracy crisis off the coast of Somalia was close to its height. There were frequent attacks on container ships and boats carrying food aid for the country. The EU took its responsibility. For the first time in history an EU naval mission was deployed to protect vital shipping lanes and importantly the delivery of aid. Since then, humanitarian deliveries have reached the intended ports and security of commercial sea lanes drastically improved.
In 2017 every 2 seconds one person was forced to flee their home due to war, persecution or violence. With millions of people in need on a record high the European Union continues its work with partners around the world to address the humanitarian challenges and to provide long-term support. Last year, €2 billion of the EU's humanitarian budget was allocated to help displaced people and host communities in 49 countries. And EU Member States have granted protection to more than 538 000 people.