Mission

Critical Maritime Routes are the routes considered crucial to maritime trade, transport, fishing and other essential maritime activities. In recent years, a considerable escalation of pirate activities and acts of armed robbery at sea, in terms of geographical spread, number of incidents reported, level of violence against seafarers, period of detention and ransom payments has been reported.

As maritime transport represents by far the largest proportion by volume of world trade and around 90% of Europe’s global trade is transported by sea, the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Guinea and South East Asia are of strategic importance to Europe.

Potential risks for the coastal countries concerned are that external trade vessels might not enter major ports in the region, a negative impact on the tourism and fishery sector, an increase in oil prices, high shipping and insurance costs as well as environmental hazards.

In 2009, in response to worsening maritime security situation worldwide, the EU has set up the Critical Maritime Routes (CMR) programme to address the challenge of maritime security in different regions, such as South East Asia, the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea.

Following the objectives of the Indicative Programme 2009-2011 for the Instrument for Stability, the European Union has set up the “Critical Maritime Routes” Programme in order to address the challenge of the security and safety of essential maritime routes.

The emphasis is on capacity building (providing legal assistance and training) on regional level for exchange of information and cooperation and subsequent implementation at national level. The interventions focus on coast guard, maritime law enforcement with a coast guard function and/or other maritime authorities of selected countries, notably where the threat has appeared more recently and the gap in capacity is high.

Through different initiatives, the programme aims to promote regional and trans-regional cooperation to overcome the fragmented approach that arises from different levels of capacity and interest among littoral states.

The current action consists of six projects, of which four still active (include an “internal” link to “how”) in two main regions: the Wider Indian Ocean and West Africa (the Gulf of Guinea).

CMR projects’ objective is to progressively form one global joint action which will contribute to create trans-regional synergies and increase maritime security and safety of critical maritime routes.

Who is CMR?

European Union and Member States

With a heavy reliance on maritime trade, maritime security has become an increasing priority for the European Union (EU).

The 2014 EU Maritime Security Strategy gave new impetus for programmes focused on this issue. Setting out the strategic interests of the EU and member states in the global maritime domain, it outlines the need to identify and address maritime security challenges. It also engages with the need for a comprehensive and cross-sectoral European wide approach.

Following the Strategy, an Action Plan was also adopted in 2014, identifying 130 actions to be implemented in five different areas over the next years. Still in 2014, the EU also adopted the EU strategy on the Gulf of Guinea to support regional efforts in the fights against maritime insecurity and organised crime.

Established initially in 2007, the Instrument for Stability (IfS) was rebranded in 2014 to the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP). It is the main thematic tool of the European Commission to improve security in partner countries, complementing other financial tools in particular where geographical or traditional development instruments cannot be used. It is designed to provide ‘assistance in response to situations of crisis or emerging crisis to prevent conflicts’ as well as longer-term programmes relating to conflict prevention, peace-building and crisis-preparedness as well as addressing global, trans-regional and emerging threats, such as, amongst others, maritime piracy and related criminal activities.

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is an independent think tank engaged in cutting edge defence and security research. Founded in 1831, RUSI embodies nearly two centuries of forward thinking, free discussion and careful reflection on defence and security matters.

Expertise France works to further France’s development assistance and international co-operation policy. The agency supports France’s partner countries in meeting the institutional, demographic, social, economic and environmental challenges they encounter. The agency implements more than 300 projects in 80 countries.

INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organisation, with 190 member countries. Its role is to enable police around the world to work together to make the world a safer place. INTERPOL’s high-tech infrastructure of technical and operational support helps meet the growing challenges of fighting crime in the 21st century.

National AIS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

close-link

Regional AIS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

close-link

VoIP

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

close-link

Knowledge Platform

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

close-link