The in-depth analysis elaborated by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) was divulgated at the occasion of the High-Level Conference on Oceans that took place in Brussels on 19 March 2019. The paper addresses the most pressing challenges in relation to maritime security: piracy and armed robbery at sea. Africa is particularly vulnerable to these challenges, both in the Gulf of Aden and in the Gulf of Guinea. Overall, the paper it compiles the EU efforts to fight piracy and armed robbery through a holistic approach combining military, civilian support and capacity-building initiatives (including the CSDP missions EUNAVFOR Atalanta, EUTM Somalia and EUCAP Somalia).
The paper takes stock of the EU-funded Critical Maritime Routes programme, highlighting the programme’s achievements in enhancing maritime security in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea. In addition, the report showcases two CMR components, CRIMARIO and GoGIN. CRIMARIO aims to improve and strengthen the connection of existing information sharing and communication networks to enhance Maritime Situation Awareness in the Indian Ocean. In West Africa, GoGIN assists the implementation of the Yaoundé Architecture, the capacity-building mechanism entitled to address maritime insecurity at the transregional level.
As a whole, the paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the root causes and the negative impacts of maritime piracy and armed robbery at sea on African maritime security and socio-economic development. Finally, it shows how the EU is committed to support regional structures and to enhance cooperation at both the national and regional levels to increase maritime security off the coast of Africa.