Maritime Security

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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.

The European Union has pledged close to EUR 300 million to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources during its participation at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali, Indonesia. This comes on top of the EUR 550 million in commitments made by the EU in 2017, when it hosted the conference in Malta.

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The European Union and the Global Maritime Crime Programme of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC GMCP) have a long and effective relation in building capacities to tackle maritime crimes. The EU and the Global Maritime Crime Programme of UNODC started partnering in 2010 to support Eastern African states (Kenya, Seychelles, Mauritius and Tanzania) prosecuting piracy incidents off the coast of Somalia.

The Gulf of Guinea is a vast and diverse region stretching from Senegal to Angola, including approximately 6,000km of coastline. The Gulf of Guinea is an important geo-political choke point for shipping transporting oil extracted in the Niger delta, as well as goods to and from central and southern Africa. Piracy, armed robbery at sea, illegal fishing, smuggling and trafficking, pose a major threat to maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and ultimately to the economic development of the entire region. The 2018 EU Maritime Security Strategy (EU MSS) Action Plan contributes to the implementation of the EU Global Strategy as well as the EU Gulf of Guinea Strategy and Action Plan. It includes, for the first time, a section dedicated to regions and sea-basins, including the Gulf of Guinea.

Our Ocean, Our Legacy is the theme of this year's Our Ocean Conference, as it reflects our choices and actions to maintain the sustainability of our ocean's resources and to preserve our ocean's health. The conference will be taking place in Bali, Indonesia on 29-30 October.

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.

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.

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