EU – Council conclusions on piracy off the coast of Somalia

3023rd FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting – Luxembourg, 14 June 2010
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
„The Council notes with concern the continuing impact of piracy off the coast of Somalia on international maritime security and on the economic activities and security of countries in the region. The Council reiterates its determination to strengthen the EU’s overall engagement to enhance regional capacity to fight piracy.

The Council commends Operation Atalanta for its successes in deterring, preventing and disrupting pirates’ activities, especially in protecting World Food Programme and AMISOM shipments. The Council agrees to prolong the operation for another two years until December 2012. The Council intends to have a strategic discussion on the operation in early Autumn as part of the EU’s comprehensive engagement in the region. The Council also agrees in principle to extend the Area of Operations further to its East and South in order to respond to the increased range of pirates’ attacks. It strongly encourages the international maritime community to further promote full adherence to recommended best practice in order to continue increasing its capacity to meet its responsibility to keep its vessels safe.

The Council welcomes the ongoing engagement of the High Representative with countries of the region in order to promote the development of regional cooperation to fight piracy. It also welcomes the regional ministerial conference on piracy convened by the HR in the Seychelles on 21 May supporting the process of forging regional solutions. The Council reiterates the EU´s commitment to help countries in the region to enhance their capacity to facilitate the prosecution and detention of suspected pirates consistent with applicable international human rights law. The Council commends Kenya and the Seychelles for their cooperation and invites other countries in the region to engage in these efforts. The Council encourages the ongoing efforts by the HR to find sustainable solutions to avoid impunity for crimes of piracy and looks forward to concrete progress on that issue. The EU stands ready to continue cooperating with the international community in a coherent manner, in particular within the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and looks forward to the report in this field by the Secretary General of the United Nations, as requested in UN Security Council Resolution 1918.

The Council stresses that an enduring solution to the threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden can only be reached by building on Somali ownership and addressing the underlying security and developmental challenges in Somalia.

Recalling its conclusions adopted in July and December 2009, the Council reaffirms its commitment to a comprehensive approach in addressing the Somali crisis. It reiterates its support to the Djibouti process and the Transition Federal Government and welcomes the agreement signed by the TFG and Puntland, including the memorandum of understanding of April 2010 addressing piracy and the agreement of March 2010 with Ahlu Sunna Wal´Jamaa. The Council also welcomes the outcome of the Istanbul conference and the work of the UNSRSG Ould Abdallah. The Council encourages continued constructive engagement from all regions of Somalia. Building on the “EU policy on the Horn of Africa- towards a comprehensive EU strategy” Council document from 2009 and the Commission communication on the Horn of Africa from 2006, the Council invites the HR and the Commission to make proposals for a comprehensive EU strategy for relations with the Horn of Africa as a basis for continued cooperation with regional partners. .“

Council of the European Union