Our fight against piracy must be relentless

Maria Damanaki, the European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, outlines that the fight against piracy must be relentless at a roundtable in Brussels recently.

Damanaki: Our fight against piracy must be relentless

By Eleni Stamatoukou

The European Economic and Social Committee, on 23 January hosted in Brussels a roundtable and presented its opinion on maritime piracy. The European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki welcomed Committee’s opinion and outlines that the fight against piracy must be relentless.

Europe has taken big strides to combat this scourge. The EU Naval Force Somalia, also known as Operation ATALANTA has arrested almost 117 suspected pirates. The number of pirate attacks has dropped through the years. Concretely, in 2010 France and Spain decided to employ armed guards on ships, a measure that helped to deter the pirate attacks. But EU should continue to combat piracy at its roots. “The capacity of States to prosecute and commit perpetrators needs to be strengthened. And prosecution should reach the true instigators and financiers. In parallel, we must deter and dismantle the financial networks that make it possible to launder the money stemming from pirate activities” said Damanaki. Furthermore, the European Commission must promote collaboration at a national and international level to strengthen the fight against maritime piracy.

“The EU is striving to promote economic growth in the maritime world through integrated approaches. One of these approaches is what we call Blue Growth” said the Commissioner. The Blue Growth initiative was launched last September and its aim is to promote the development of maritime economy. In parallel, Ms. Damanaki announced that her department “is now co-championing the drafting and implementation of a new EU Security Strategy for the global maritime domain”.The objective of this strategy is to link the European Security Strategy with the EU Integrated Maritime Policy, and particularly with the Integrated Maritime Surveillance initiative.

Source: New Europe.

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