The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)

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European ministers on 26 June adopted a revised action plan on maritime security. With the new plan, Europe strengthens its commitment to security at sea – both at home and around the world.

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The revised EU Maritime Security Strategy (EU MSS) Action Plan contributes to the implementation of the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy and the Joint Communication on International Ocean Governance. It features, for the first time, a section dedicated to regions and sea basins, including the Horn of Africa-Red Sea, which is a major choke point of international trade and the crossroads between the Mediterranean basin and the Wider Indian Ocean region. The threat posed by Somalia-based pirates to maritime trade routes is now largely in check, with incidents occurring sporadically. EU NAVFOR Operation ATALANTA has played a major role in securing this area.

Estonia is in all probability the world leader in cyber-related issues. This is one of the reasons why the Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence is located in its capital Tallinn. This centre's major event is the annual cyber conference (CyCon), which this year was held from 27 to 31 May 2018.

90% of the EU's external trade and 40% of its internal trade is transported by sea. Safe and secure seas and oceans are of fundamental importance for free trade, the EU economy and living standards.

Summary
The revised EU Maritime Security Strategy (EU MSS) Action Plan contributes to the implementation of the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy and includes, for the first time, a section dedicated to regions and sea-basins, including the Black Sea. Bordered by six countries, including two EU Member States, the Black Sea is strategically located at important geo-political crossroads. Since the accession of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007, the EU implemented a number of EU initiatives for the Black Sea, such as the Black Sea Synergy.

Today, foreign affairs ministers and defence ministers discussed the implementation of the EU Global Strategy in the area of security and defence. The Council then adopted conclusions which highlight the significant progress in strengthening cooperation in the area of security and defence and provide further guidance on next steps.

The G5 Sahel countries - Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad - face increasing threats by terrorists and organized crime involving trafficking in arms, drugs and human beings. This has also an impact on the Mediterranean region and EU Member States. To help address the situation, the EU has joined forces with its G5 partners and launched a range of support measures. Amongst other things, the EU has helped to mobilise commitments of more than €400 million to help set up a Joint Force of the countries concerned and has deployed, under the EU flag, two civilian capacity building missions and one military training mission to Niger and Mali.

Developments in Europe's neighbourhood and beyond are a constant reminder that our security is not for free. Supporting its Member States, the EU is a key player when it comes to protecting Europe and its citizens. This is why on 13 June High Representative Mogherini proposed a new, major funding mechanism, the European Peace Facility (EPF), to underpin joint action in the area of security and defence.

‘The Hotline serves as a catalyst for cooperation between conflict parties. At the same time, it defuses tensions and prevents escalations, it represents an excellent instrument for confidence building, and it contributes to improving lives of people on both sides of the Administrative Boundary Line’.

– Erik Høeg, Head of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia

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