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EU Blue Economy Observatory
News article14 March 2023

EU updates strategy to protect maritime area from new threats

The European Commission and the High Representative have issued a joint statement on an updated EU Maritime Security Strategy to secure the peaceful use of the seas and to protect the maritime domain from emerging threats. They have also adopted an updated Action Plan to carry out the Strategy.

The European Union and its Member States place a premium on maritime security. The EU's member states create the world's largest combined exclusive economic zone. The EU economy is heavily reliant on a safe and secure ocean. Almost 80% of global trade is carried by sea, and roughly two-thirds of the world's oil and gas are extracted or transported by sea.

Up to 99% of global data flows are transmitted through undersea cables. The global maritime domain must be secure to unlock the full potential of the oceans and the sustainable blue economy. The EU intends to reinforce the wide range of tools it has at its disposal to promote maritime security, both civilian and military.

An updated European Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS)

The updated EUMSS is a framework for the EU to take action to protect its interests at sea, and to protect its citizens, values and economy.

The updated Maritime Security Strategy promotes international peace and security, as well as respect for international rules and principles, while ensuring the sustainability of the oceans and the protection of biodiversity. The Strategy will be implemented by the EU and its Member States, in line with their respective competences.

The Joint Communication and associated Action Plan specify several integrated actions that will deliver on the EU's interests. To do so, the EU will step up its action under six strategic objectives. These consist of:

  • Stepping up activities at sea - Actions include organising naval exercises at EU level and developing further coastguard operations in European sea basins.
  • Cooperating with partners - Actions include deepening EU-NATO cooperation and stepping up cooperation with all relevant international partners to uphold the rules-based order at sea.
  • Leading on maritime domain awareness. Actions include reinforcing coastal and offshore patrol vessel surveillance and strengthening the Common information sharing environment (CISE).
  • Managing risks and threats. Actions include conducting regular live maritime exercises involving civilian and military actors.
  • Boosting capabilities. Actions include developing common requirements for defence technologies in the maritime domain.
  • Educating and training by boosting hybrid and cyber security qualifications notably on the civilian side and conducting training programmes that are open to non-EU partners.

For More Information

Joint Communication on an enhanced EU Maritime Security Strategy 

Action Plan ‘An enhanced EU Maritime Security Strategy for evolving maritime threats'

Questions and Answers on the EU Maritime Security Strategy

EU Maritime Security Strategy

Factsheet on the updated EU Maritime Security Strategy


Publication date
14 March 2023