An internal security problem of Somalia—state failure from internal conflict resulting in increased piracy—has increasingly become an external security problem for the European Union (EU). This article contributes to analysing the role of the EU as a security actor in countering piracy off the Horn of Africa, by examining three different dimensions of the EU response to this problem: (a) the immediate EU response (the EU military mission EUNAVFOR Atalanta); (b) the medium-term EU response (the Critical Maritime Routes (CMR) programme launched by the European Commission); and (c) the long-term EU response (development and security assistance). This article concludes that the EU has been very active in addressing piracy through its naval task-force to protect maritime transport in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, as well as its efforts to enhance regional counter-piracy capacities and thematic and geographical financial instruments. The EU thus has taken up the fight against ‘Captain Hook’.
- European Union
- Horn of Africa