23 Feb 2022

The European shipping industry welcomes the EU’s political commitment to the strengthening of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and North-Western Indian Ocean.

Two sets of Council Conclusions have been adopted on Monday to extend and enhance the EU’s Coordinated Maritime Presence (CMP) in the Gulf of Guinea and in the North-Western Indian Ocean, signalling the continued commitment by the EU and its Member States to maritime security. The Conclusions also acknowledge the key role  of Operation ATALANTA in the Indian Ocean.

ECSA welcomes the extension of the Coordinated Maritime Presence in the Gulf of Guinea until 2024, as this region remains a dangerous piracy hotspot and a challenging area of operation for vessels and their crews. Despite the decrease in overall incident numbers in the past year, recent incidents are a sound reminder of the ongoing threat of piracy. While shipowners continue to play their role to mitigate the risk, government action remains crucial  through deployment of adequate naval assets,  capacity building and support to the Yaoundé Architecture.

ECSA has supported the development of the Coordinated Maritime Presence since its inception and continues to support its application. The Coordinated Maritime Presence in the North-Western Indian Ocean launched by the dedicated Council Conclusions can improve coordination and improve synergies between the EU initiatives in the area and cooperation with regional and international actors.

ECSA welcomes the recognition by Member States of the importance of Operation ATALANTA and of the role it has played and continues to play for security in the region. European shipowners support the mandate of the Operation as it ensures stability and provides essential support in terms of information sharing and reporting.

“The EU has shown leadership in being a frontrunner in addressing piracy in the North-Western Indian Ocean through successful initiatives such as Operation ATALANTA. The extension of the Coordinated Maritime Presence reiterates the commitment of the EU and the Member States to enhance maritime security in key areas, and in particular in the Gulf of Guinea. ECSA stresses its willingness to engage with the Commission and the Member States to ensure the safety of our seafarers and a stable environment for EU shipping, regional development and global trade.” said Luisa Puccio, ECSA’s Director for Shipping and Trade Policy.

For press and media inquiries, please contact ECSA Communications/PR Senior Advisor – Francesco TanziFrancesco.Tanzi@ecsa.eu