Marianne Péron-Doise, CRIMARIO strategical advisor, went to the EU Atalanta HQ in Northwood (UK) with Any Freitas from EU-DEVCO (Brussels) on 12 Nov 2018. The visit gave rise to informal exchanges of views on different topics of maritime interest: update of maritime incidents off the Horn of Africa and Red Sea; cooperation among EU initiatives and projects, participation to the Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi.

The EU NAVFOR side presented an update on current maritime activities off the coast of Somalia as the recent piracy attack of the MV KSL Sydney occurred on the 16 October 2018 around 340 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia. It was underlined that it was the second piracy attack in this area reported since the beginning of 2018 and that the Best Management Practices prescribed by MSCHOA is always the most effective way to counter such piracy threat and attack. But another element to take into consideration is that criminal networks are still very active around the Horn of Africa and beyond to the Red Sea not only in piracy activities but in many other illegal activities, as drug and weapons trafficking. 

A point was made on recent EU NAVFOR support to the CRIMARIO project and how to increase cooperation between different maritime initiatives developed and/or funded by the EU Commission. CRIMARIO side made a brief point on its involvement to the Blue Economy Conference to be held in Nairobi from 26 to 28 of November with the preparation of a side-event “Create Maritime Domain Awareness for enhancing the blue economy: EU regional initiatives and tools in Africa” scheduled on 28 November morning.

The most obvious conclusion of the meeting is that reinforcement of their maritime situational awareness remains a key priority for the littoral States in Indian Ocean and a structuring axis of cooperation for the European Union.