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Oceans and fisheries

Maritime security strategy

The EU’s maritime security strategy (EUMSS) is built upon closer collaboration within the EU, across regional and national levels.

The maritime security strategy promotes international peace and security, as well as respect for international rules and principles, while ensuring the sustainability of the oceans and the protection of biodiversity.

Objectives

  • protect EU interests at sea - citizens, economy, infrastructure, and borders
  • protect our natural resources and the marine environment
  • uphold international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
  • react promptly and effectively to growing threats (e.g., cyber and hybrid threats)
  • ensure relevant training and education to counter threats (e.g., cyber skills)

Actions

Step up activities at sea

  • organise an annual naval exercise at EU level
  • reinforce existing EU naval operations
  • develop further coastguard in sea basins around the EU
  • expand the Coordinated Maritime Presences concept to new maritime areas of interest

Cooperate with partners

  • deepen EU-NATO cooperation
  • enhance partnerships with likeminded countries, regional and international organisations
  • deploy EU liaison officers to maritime information centres in non-EU countries
  • promote dialogue and best practices through the coast guard function forums

Enhance maritime domain situational awareness

  • strengthen the Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE) and MARSUR
  • reinforce coastal and offshore patrol vessel surveillance

Manage risks and threats

  • conduct regular live maritime exercises involving civil and military entities
  • monitor and protect critical maritime infrastructure and ships from physical and cyber threats
  • tackle unexploded ordnance and mines at sea
  • develop further awareness and preparedness to tackle threats linked to climate change and environmental degradation

Boost capabilities

  • develop common requirements and concepts for defence technologies in the maritime domain
  • step up work on projects such as the European Patrol Corvette or improving anti-submarine capabilities

Educate and train

  • boost hybrid and cyber security qualifications notably on the civilian side
  • conduct training and joint exercises open to non-EU partners

Next steps

The updated strategy and action plan will go to the Council of the European Union for discussion and Council conclusions.

The Commission and the High Representative will issue a progress report within three years after the endorsement of the updated strategy by the Council.

Background

The EUMSS and its action plan are in place since 2014. The action plan was last updated in 2018. The 2023 update follows up on the Council conclusions on maritime security of June 2021, which called on the Commission and the High Representative to assess the need for an update.

In March 2023 the European Commission and the High Representative adopted a Joint communication on the update of the EU Maritime Security Strategy and its Action Plan: An enhanced EU Maritime Security Strategy for evolving maritime threats

Documents

European Union Maritime Security Strategy

10 March 2023 Update of the EU Maritime Security Strategy and its Action Plan: An enhanced EU Maritime Security Strategy for evolving maritime threats

3. MÄRTS 2021
EUMSS action plan
English
(308.87 KB - PDF)
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3. MÄRTS 2021
EU maritime security strategy action plan 2020 implementation report
English
(728 KB - PDF)
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23. OKTOOBER 2020
Report on the implementation of the revised EU Maritime Security Strategy Action Plan
English
(1.05 MB - PDF)
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Media