“An enhanced EU Maritime Security Strategy for evolving maritime threats”


join-2023-8_en.pdf (europa.eu)

COUNCIL on the update of the EU Maritime Security Strategy and its Action Plan
“An enhanced EU Maritime Security Strategy for evolving maritime threats”


Maritime security is vital to the European Union (EU) and to its Member States. Together,
the EU’s Member States form the largest combined exclusive economic zone in the world. The EU economy depends greatly on safe and secure oceans: over 80% of global trade is seaborne, about two-thirds of the world’s oil and gas supply is either extracted at sea or transported by sea1 , and up to 99% of global data flows are transmitted through undersea cables2 . To ensure effective ocean governance, to protect our oceans and seabeds, and to unlock the full potential of the sustainable blue economy3 , the global maritime domain must be secure.

Since 2014, the European maritime security strategy (EUMSS) and action plan4 have provided the framework for addressing security challenges at sea. The strategy has stimulated closer cooperation between civilian and military authorities, in particular through information exchange. It has helped promote rules-based governance at sea and has given a boost to international cooperation. It has strengthened the EU’s autonomy and capacity to respond to maritime security threats5.

The EU plays an increasingly important role as a global maritime security provider, by conducting its own naval operations, e.g. Atalanta6 and Irini7 , implementing the Coordinated Maritime Presences (CMP)8 concept, and promoting maritime situational awareness and cooperating with a wide range of external partners. In addition, the Copernicus maritime and border surveillance operational systems, implemented by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), provide space based observations, complementing the navigation services of Galileo satellites.

The overall strategic environment is experiencing drastic changes. Reshaped by the climate crisis and environmental degradation and aggravated by Russia’s illegal and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, it demands more action from the EU as an international security provider.

In line with the EU Strategic Compass for Security and Defence, 9 this update of the EUMSS and its action plan aims to respond to the new challenges. It is an opportunity to drive forward sustainable solutions to maritime security problems. It is also an opportunity to further enhance the EU’s role internationally and further secure the EU’s access to an increasingly contested maritime domain.

The updated EUMSS is a framework for the EU to take further action to protect its interests at sea, and to protect its citizens, values and economy. The aim is to promote international peace and security while adhering to the principle of sustainability and protecting biodiversity. The EU and its Member States will implement the updated strategy, in line with their respective competences.


1 JOIN(2022)28 final
3 COM(2021) 240 final.
4 Council document 11205/14 and Council conclusions10494/18.
5 Council conclusions 9946/21.
6 https://eunavfor.eu/
7 https://www.operationirini.eu/
8 Council Conclusions 06256/22 and 06255/22.
9 Council document 7371/22

READ FULL DOCUMENT : join-2023-8_en.pdf (europa.eu)


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