90% of the EU's external trade and 40% of its internal trade is transported by sea. Safe and secure seas and oceans are of fundamental importance for free trade, the EU economy and living standards.
The Council has adopted conclusions on the revision of the EU maritime security strategy (EUMSS) action plan.
"With this action plan, the EU reaffirms its role as a global maritime security provider. It promotes international cooperation, maritime multilateralism and the rule of law at sea, in line with the strategic priorities identified in the EU Global Strategy," said High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.
The EU has interests but also responsibilities in global maritime security. This is why the EU actively contributes to safe and secure seas and oceans in different parts of the world, using several of the EU's existing instruments such as the Instrument for Peace and Stability and the European Development Fund, as well as EU policies, such as the Common Security and Defence Policy.
The EU's maritime security strategy action plan was first adopted on 16 December 2014 to help safeguard the interests of the EU and protect its member states and citizens.
It addresses global maritime risks and threats, including cross-border and organized crime, threats to freedom of navigation, threats to biodiversity, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing or environmental degradation due to illegal or accidental discharge.
The revision adopted today allows for a more focused reporting process to enhance awareness and better follow-up to the strategy.
The action plan brings together both internal and external aspects of the Union’s maritime security. The actions foreseen in the plan also contribute to the implementation of the EU Global Strategy, the renewed EU internal security strategy 2015-2020, the Council conclusions on global maritime security, and the joint communication on international ocean governance.