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The new EU Maritime Strategy and the European maritime projection: New challenges, new policies

The new EUMSS and Action Plan

April 2023

On March 10, 2023, The European Commission published an update of the European Union Maritime Security Strategy and its Action Plan under the title “An enhanced EU Maritime Security Strategy for evolving maritime threats”. This document publishing is part of the European Union's efforts to step up in the maritime field through international cooperation and naval projection, increasingly turning the EU into a worldwide maritime security provider.

The European Union Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS for short), was first released in 2014, creating the first framework on maritime security that has been updated both in 2018 and 2023. Furthermore, the European Union Strategic Compass, published in March 2022, sets the Union’s objective to strengthen its role and capabilities as a maritime security actor; the EU Strategic Compass, as well as the evolving challenges that the maritime security domain has experienced in the last months, being the reasons that promoted the publishing of this updated Maritime Security Strategy.

Since the publication of the 2014 EUMSS, the scenarios and threats that characterize the maritime domain have evolved in many ways. For instance, the strategic competition over sea resources and communication lanes has increased exponentially, not only affecting European waters but also beyond: the Gulf of Guinea, the Gulf of Aden, the Strait of Hormuz, the Strait of Malacca, and the South China Sea are the main examples pinpointed in the updated EUMSS as scenarios of increasing strategic competition

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