On 24th August 2020, the EU CRIMARIO team led by Martin Cauchi Inglott, had a fruitful engagement with Vice-Admiral Pradeep Chauhan, Director General of the National Maritime Foundation (NMF) of India where security concerns affecting the Indian Ocean were deliberated. Potential areas of cooperation in the short to medium terms were also discussed, and the both sides agreed to analyse potential areas where efforts could be combined, to promote maritime security cooperation in the wider Indian Ocean.
The participants conducted their discussions in the context of the EU-India strategic partnership, endorsed on 15th July 2020 during the 15th European Union – India Summit.
Admiral Chauhan briefly introduced the NMF as one of India’s foremost think-tanks, analysing the entire gamut of issues relevant to India’s maritime domain. After presenting the strategic developments in the Indian Ocean, he emphasised the key elements necessary to integrate successful cooperation, stressing the importance of relying on regional initiatives, especially IORA, IONS and BIMSTEC.
Martin Cauchi Inglott introduced CRIMARIO II, which is part of the European Union’s initiatives to promote maritime security in the Indian Ocean and the Southeast Asia. After presenting the objectives and the timeline of the project, he gave the milestones of the activities in the forthcoming months, which would focus on promoting regional cooperation in the maritime domain through concrete projects, to address partner country’s capability gaps, meanwhile also assessing potential areas of cooperation with key partners, prior to proposing a four year Action Plan to the European Commission for approval.
In conclusion, both sides agreed towards establishing a four-year action plan in close collaboration with other EU actors in the region, primarily EUNAVFOR Atalanta, and ‘Enhancing Security in and with Asia’.