Mission and objectives

CRIMARIO is an EU-funded maritime capacity-building initiative established in 2015, in the western Indian Ocean, with the ambition of supporting like-minded partners better govern their maritime spaces through information sharing initiatives, capacity building and training, with a focus on Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). In 2020, the project was extended for four more years to also cover Asia, and with the launch of the EU Indo-Pacific strategy, in 2021, it was extended across the Pacific to Latin America.

CRIMARIO II enables the EU’s Indo-Pacific partners and organisations to better govern their maritime spaces by promoting cross-sectorial, interagency, and transregional cooperation in the areas of maritime security and safety and, to a lesser extent, supporting authorities in addressing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fisheries. The philosophy behind the CRIMARIO concept is that through this cost-effective approach all like-minded partners, and the EU, will benefit from safer and more secure trade routes, and fisheries will become more sustainable.

The project focuses on enhancing cooperation and complementarity amongst regional Information Fusion Centres (IFCs), Information Sharing Centres, Joint Operations Centres, national Maritime Operations Centres, regional organisations (IMO/DCOC, UNODC, IOC, IORA, PIFs), fora (such as IONS) and currently over 35 countries, including the Pacific islands.

CRIMARIO II goes about its tasks by mentoring and advising in fields related to maritime safety and security, through courses and exercises, focusing its efforts on the IORIS neutral and secure information-exchange platform. Through these processes it builds the IORIS Community of users, now institutionalised through the IORIS Steering Committee. This is, in effect, bridging all navies, maritime authorities and agencies with common interests, which is accomplished by supporting partners create and activate IORIS Community Areas (CA) at the national and regional levels. These CAs are the virtual grouping of countries/agencies by organisation, geography and/or theme to facilitate intra/inter-regional information exchange and operational coordination at sea.

A second initiative, being conducted in partnership with UNODC, aims to bridge to those partners already operating established information-exchange system through the SHARE.IT Interoperability Framework, which are primarily Information Fusion Centres now expanding to like-minded States with interests in the region.

Since its inception, CRIMARIO II has rapidly expanded, despite COVID, due to its benevolent ambitions and the win-win deliverables it offers its partners, the essence of its success being the project’s ability to build trust and confidence with its counterparts.