The European Union Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS) for the global maritime domain, adopted by the European Council in June 2014, is a joint EU plan to improve the way in which the EU pre-empts and responds to these challenges. It is an overarching maritime security strategy against all challenges from the global maritime domain that may affect people, activities or infrastructures in the EU.
We all depend on safe, secure and clean seas and oceans for prosperity and peace. It is through adequate maritime security that we can maintain the rule of law in areas beyond national jurisdiction and protect the EU strategic maritime interests which include:
- overall security and peace
- rule of law and freedom of navigation
- external border control
- maritime infrastructures: ports and harbours, coastal protection, commercial facilities, underwater pipes and cables, offshore platforms and scientific equipment
- common natural resources and environmental health
- climate change preparedness.
The strategy is built upon closer collaboration within the EU, across the regional and national levels. It seeks to increase awareness and ensure higher efficiency of operations.
A second objective is to protect EU maritime interests worldwide. The EUMSS strengthens the link between internal and external security, and couples the overall European Security Strategy with the Integrated Maritime Policy.
By working together more closely and planning ahead, the EU and its Member States can make better use of existing resources, and enter more effective and credible international partnerships.
Where are we now?
The EUMSS is complemented with an Action Plan, a list of over 130 specific actions and a timeframe to drive the implementation of the EUMSS forward. All maritime security stakeholders in the EU – across sectors and borders – are called upon to participate directly in a cooperative setting.
The EUMSS Action Plan is organised around five key areas of cooperation, chosen after a comprehensive and forward-looking analysis of the threats and challenges affecting maritime security: External Action; Maritime Awareness, Surveillance and Information Sharing; Capability Development; Risk Management, Protection of Critical Infrastructures and Crisis Response; Maritime Security Research and Innovation, Education and Training.
This comprehensive approach strengthens the EU's voice in the international arena, and enhances the capacities of maritime security professionals in the EU.
If you are involved in maritime security at EU or national level, there are many opportunities for you to get involved. Please ask your relevant authority about local and sectorial priorities. You can also find professional information in the EU Maritime Forum.
What has been done?
Some success stories so far:
- The Baltic Sea Maritime Incident Response project (BSMIR) analysed the level of preparedness of the eight Baltic Sea States plus Norway and Iceland vis-à-vis large-scale and multi-sectorial maritime accidents. This nine-month-long project resulted in a final report including suggestions for international cooperation.
- The European Coast Guard Functions Academy Network (ECGFA NET) strengthens international collaboration on training. It set up a network of training institutions for coastguard functions, which led to a shared qualifications framework. Run by 12 EU coastguard agencies, it has so far managed to engage 37 training institutions.
- The large amount of regional cooperation initiatives reported by EU agencies and Member States, such as FRONTEX operations in the Mediterranean, Baltic Sea Regional Border Control Cooperation (BSRBCC) and Black Sea Security initiatives, including promising collaboration with third nations and international forums.
- Action Plan as adopted by the Council (General Affairs) on 16 December 2014
- European Union Maritime Security Strategy as adopted by the Council (General Affairs) on 24 June 2014
- Joint communication to the European Parliament and the Council: For an open and secure global maritime domain: elements for a European Union maritime security strategy
- Staff working document on the on the implementation of the EU Maritime Security Strategy Action Plan
- Staff working document; Second report on the implementation of the EU Maritime Security Strategy Action Plan
- Press release: Towards an EU integrated approach to global maritime security
- Question & answers
- Leaflet: European Union Maritime Security Strategy; responding together to global challenges, a guide for stakeholders