Rationale & objectives

The European Commission has been addressing threats to international sea lines of communication ever since it established its Critical Maritime Routes (CMR) programme in 2009, in support of the Djibouti Code of Conduct. CRIMARIO I (2015 – 2019) was one initiative falling under the CMR umbrella, covering the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region, which was established to enhance Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) through information sharing, capability building and training. This was achieved through the implementation of the IORIS platform, an information sharing and incident management tool amongst others; and an extensive program of training in Maritime Data Processing (MDP) for analysis and visualisation of data.

CRIMARIO II builds on the experience of CRIMARIO I by expanding the geographical scope of the project towards South and Southeast Asia with a view to contributing to a safer and more secure maritime domain, through cross-sectoral, inter-agency and cross-regional cooperation. More specifically, its three interlinked objectives are as follows:

1 – enhancing information exchange and analysis, and crisis/incident management ;

2 – strengthening inter-agency cooperation in maritime surveillance, policing, investigation and judicial matters; and

3 – facilitating the implementation of international legal instruments and regional arrangements.

Objective 1 will be implemented in both Western Indian Ocean and Asian countries. Objectives 2 & 3 will be implemented exclusively in South Asian and South East Asian countries.

These objectives reflect the EU’s priority towards deepening security cooperation with its Asian partners, taking into account shared maritime security interests. In this context, the team intends cooperating with partner countries, and planning engagements in consultation with other regional actors in order to offer solutions to identified gaps, and complement efforts where feasible, thereby avoiding duplication.

CRIMARIO II, which was launched on 29 April 2020, is a four-year EU funded project, with a budget of seven and a half million euros (7.5 M€). The implementing agency will be Expertise France.