skip to main content

EU aims to expand CMP concept to Indian Ocean

The European Union (EU) intends to expand its Coordinated Maritime Presence (CMP) concept from from the Gulf of Guinea to the Indian Ocean to create an “arc of security”, according to EU officials.

“We are considering creating a new maritime area of interest by enlarging the CMP concept into the Indian Ocean,” said Stefano Tomat, senior security policy official at the European External Action Service (EEAS), during a 30 November hearing of the European Parliament's security and defence sub-committee.

With most of the EU's commerce passing through the arc's two arms – the Gulf of Guinea and the Red Sea – Tomat said “these are critical trading routes which are also becoming core areas of competition among the world's largest powers. It will be essential to cover this area to ensure our economic and security interests.”

Nathalie Loiseau, the sub-committee's chair, agreed. “This is as important for the EU as it is for the coastal states involved. A [new] CMP is very much necessary to provide us a better operational picture in this large maritime area.”

The EEAS aims to get political approval from EU leaders to launch the new CMP in March 2022.

Tomat said the new CMP would initially focus on the northwest of the Indian Ocean, saying “we would have to explore later whether there is [political] appetite to go further than that”.

The EU Naval Force's Operation Atalanta counter-piracy mission already operates off Somalia, but Tomat said there is little risk of operational duplication. “We are planning for the possibility that when a CMP ship enters its area, it would fall under Atalanta's chain of command, exiting it when it leaves that area of operations,” he said.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...