Brussels, 28 March 2012
Maritime transport: Seminar to strengthen the fight against piracy and armed robbery
Brussels, 28 March 2012 – The European Commission is organising today and tomorrow an event concerning piracy and armed robbery. These acts are a serious threat not only to the lives of seafarers but to maritime transport as a whole. It is essential that all those concerned continue to act decisively and that the necessary measures are implemented systematically to prevent seamen from falling victim to such attacks and to protect the economy of the marine transport sector.
Mr Siim Kallas, Vice President of the European Commission, says: ‘I welcome the efforts of the international community in general and the International Maritime Organisation in particular. I do not forget the major impact of European commitment, whether via the EU NAFGOR - ATALANTA operation or traditional instruments of European aid. I am convinced that we need a comprehensive response, considering that at least 80% of all international trade relies on maritime transport. The European Union will remain fully engaged.’
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, said: "It's unacceptable that criminal gangs continue to take international waterways hostage and threaten thousands of sailors. Piracy is a complex issue which requires a combination of military and judicial action with political, diplomatic and development efforts. The EU's comprehensive approach makes a major contribution to international efforts to stamp out piracy, through its wide range of measures: protection and containment through Operation Atalanta, cooperation against impunity for pirates and the leaders of criminal networks, reinforcement of regional security capacities, and efforts to establish the rule of law and offer an alternative to young Somalis."
This seminar, organised in cooperation with the Danish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, will bring together officials from the Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS), along with people such as:
Since 2008 the general public’s attention has been drawn to the alarming rise in the number of piracy acts off the Somali coast and in the Gulf of Aden. These acts continue to target – well beyond the Horn of Africa – the humanitarian convoys of the World Food Programme (WFP), commercial vessels, fishing fleets and recreational craft.
Therefore, over a two-day period, this third seminar will examine all of the issues related to maritime piracy.
Facts and figures for the Horn of Africa
EU Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa:
The EU fight against piracy in the Horn of Africa: