With European prosperity and Asian peace and security closely connected, the European Union has decided to strengthen its security cooperation in and with Asia. This is also in line with the steps taken by the EU in the past years to strengthen its role as a global security provider: Europe and Asia share a fundamental interest in upholding the rules-based international system, as well as the view that the challenges the world faces today go beyond national borders and cannot be tackled alone. The EU-Asia security partnership is therefore both desirable and necessary.
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.
Mutual support and cooperation between the three EU Missions deployed in the Horn of Africa was discussed at the meeting between Kenneth Deane, Civilian Operations Commander and his military counterpart, Esa Pulkkinen, Director of the Military Planning and Conduct Capability on 24 May in Mogadishu.
The EU will strengthen cooperation on security in Asia and with Asian partners, in view of the importance of the region to global stability and security and thus to European interests. Priority areas are maritime security, cyber security, counter terrorism, CSDP and peacekeeping operations, hybrid threats, conflict prevention and the proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons. Pilot cooperation projects will be developed with key partners to concretely advance shared interests in these areas.
The EU and Japan have concluded negotiations on a Strategic Partnership Agreement. Complementing the new economic deal agreed in December liberalising trade, the political deal aims to facilitate common solutions to common challenges, such as climate change, energy supply and threats to security. It will help the EU and Japan to jointly promote peace, stability and prosperity globally, as well as an open international system.
Thanks to European integration, it is all but impossible to imagine renewed war between the countries of our Union. Today however, guaranteeing our security means dealing with threats that transcend borders. No single country can address them alone, but together we are strong.
The presentation of the new Global Strategy for the EU's foreign and security policy in June 2016 kick started a process of closer cooperation amongst Member States in the field of security and defence. This subsequently led to the adoption of the so-called "defence package" which consists of various different instruments and measures to cope with today’s threats and security challenges.