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EU maritime security: from strategy to action

Europe’s maritime security has significantly improved over the last years on several aspects including international or regional cooperation, information sharing, capability development, risk management and training. This is the conclusion of a new report about the implementation of the EU’s maritime security strategy action plan, developed by the European Commission together with the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the European External Action Service (EEAS).

We all depend on safe, secure and clean seas and oceans. Through maritime security policies, we can maintain the rule of law in areas beyond national jurisdiction and protect the EU’s strategic maritime interests. These include, among others, our external borders, common natural resources and maritime infrastructures such as ports, offshore platforms and scientific equipment. Climate change and our preparedness to face its impact on the marine and coastal environment are also important maritime security priorities.

The European Union maritime security strategy explains how the EU defends its maritime interests, in full respect of international rules and principles. An action plan – adopted in 2014 and revised in 2018 – helps implement this strategy. 

According to the progress report, significant improvements have been achieved in all five “key areas for immediate action” defined in the strategy. Actions vary strongly, from improving resilience against cyber-attacks, over common information sharing platforms to developing semi-autonomous surveillance capabilities. The international level remains of critical importance to the EU, as it has strengthened its cooperation with the United Nations, NATO and other strategic partners.