During the last years, the stability of the Somali territory and waters has been a priority of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). In December 2018, the EU naval Operation Atalanta (EU NAVFOR) celebrated 10 years of deployment. While EU NAVFOR contributes in fighting piracy at sea, civilian and military missions on the ground allow the EU to tackle the root causes of maritime insecurity: political instability, weakness of institutions and rule of law, and lack of a security framework. From one side, the EU training mission EUTM Somalia trains the Somali army, while the civilian mission EUCAP Somalia supports the strengthening of the legislative framework to combat maritime crime. Moreover, EU NAVFOR assist the Somali authorities to report crimes at sea, such as IUU and overfishing – another factor contributing in the emergence of piracy. Overall, EU NAVFOR contributed to the EU’s security and development agenda in the Horn of Africa. More precisely, the presence of EU naval forces reduced the number of annual pirates’ attacks to 2 in 2018. Consolidating maritime, civilian and military support highlights the EU commitment to improve the sovereignty of the Somali government over its territory and overall, to ensure stability in the region. Combined to civilian efforts and capacity-building, the military measures show the EU’s commitment to a sustainable response to piracy and political instability in Somalia.
ArticlesCooperationEast AfricaEUEU NAVFOREUCAP NESTORGulf of AdenHorn of Africamaritime securityOPERATION ATALANTAPiracy and armed robbery