Answer – VP/HR – Piracy in Somalia and the EU response strategy – E-004525/2017

During the spring 2017 circa ten piracy incidents have been reported in Western Indian Ocean(1). Nonetheless, piracy is considered to have been deterred and contained at sea. It is too early to assess whether the reported cases indicate its resurgence. While the risk remains relatively low, these incidents nevertheless underpin the need to remain vigilant.

The presence of Operation ATALANTA and other naval forces is coupled with the implementation of Best Management Practices(2), use of private armed guards on vessels and information sharing tools, like Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa(3), Shared Awareness and De-confliction mechanism(4) and Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast Somalia(5). In parallel, the EU has been substantially investing in local regional maritime security capacity building, not least through supporting the implementation of the Djibouti Code of Conduct(6) — a regional level maritime security cooperation instrument. The EU has supported capacity building of the judicial and penal systems in the regional countries to allow the prosecution of piracy suspects, implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Maritime Crime Programme. The EU also supports development of maritime situational awareness and maritime security in the wider region through EU Critical Maritime Route Wider Indian Ocean (CRIMARIO) project(7) and Maritime Security (MASE) programme.

The EEAS together with the Commission services regularly review the implementation of the EU Maritime Security Strategy(8) as well as its engagement in Somalia, as the country still needs to address the piracy related issues on-shore to eradicate the root causes of this criminal activity.

(1) International Maritime Bureau, https://www.icc-ccs.org/icc/imb
(2) Best Management Practices for Protection against Somalia Based Piracy, ISBN: 978 1 85609 505 1.
(3) http://www.mschoa.org/
(4) http://oceansbeyondpiracy.org/matrix/shared-awareness-and-deconfliction-shade
(5) http://www.lessonsfrompiracy.net/
(6) http://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Security/PIU/Pages/DCoC.aspx
(7) https://www.crimario.eu/
(8) 11205/14, 24 June 2014.
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