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Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea: EU and international action

12-03-2020

The Gulf of Guinea is framed by 6 000 km of west African coastline, from Senegal to Angola. Its sea basin is an important resource for fisheries and is part of a key sea route for the transport of goods between central and southern Africa and the rest of the world. Its geo-political and geo-economic importance has grown since it has become a strategic hub in global and regional energy trade. Every day, nearly 1 500 fishing vessels, cargo ships and tankers navigate its waters. The security of this ...

The Gulf of Guinea is framed by 6 000 km of west African coastline, from Senegal to Angola. Its sea basin is an important resource for fisheries and is part of a key sea route for the transport of goods between central and southern Africa and the rest of the world. Its geo-political and geo-economic importance has grown since it has become a strategic hub in global and regional energy trade. Every day, nearly 1 500 fishing vessels, cargo ships and tankers navigate its waters. The security of this maritime area is threatened by the rise of piracy, illegal fishing, and other maritime crimes. Regional actors have committed to cooperate on tackling the issue through the 'Yaoundé Code of Conduct' and the related cooperation mechanism and bodies. The international community has also pledged to track and condemn acts of piracy at sea. The European Union (EU), which has a strong interest in safeguarding its maritime trade and in addressing piracy's root causes, supports regional and international initiatives. The EU is also implementing its own maritime security strategy, which includes, among other features, a regional component for the Gulf of Guinea; this entails EU bodies' and Member States' cooperation in countering acts of piracy, as well as capacity-building projects. This briefing draws from and updates the sections on the Gulf of Guinea in 'Piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Africa', EPRS, March 2019.

A maritime strategy for Africa

13-07-2017

Harnessing the oceans' resources in a sustainable manner is the 'new frontier of the African renaissance', according to the African Union (AU). This 'blue growth' will only materialise if the oceans' health and security at sea are restored. For this purpose, the AU has designed an ambitious maritime strategy, but disagreements among the African states are hampering its realisation. The EU could support this strategy, provided cooperation goes beyond security and migration aspects.

Harnessing the oceans' resources in a sustainable manner is the 'new frontier of the African renaissance', according to the African Union (AU). This 'blue growth' will only materialise if the oceans' health and security at sea are restored. For this purpose, the AU has designed an ambitious maritime strategy, but disagreements among the African states are hampering its realisation. The EU could support this strategy, provided cooperation goes beyond security and migration aspects.

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

15-06-2017

The €6 396.6 million European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) is the smallest of the European Structural and Investment Funds for the 2014-2020 period, but it is the major financial tool supporting the EU common fisheries policy (CFP). Slightly less than half of the Fund is dedicated to promoting sustainable fisheries and to fostering sustainable aquaculture. Another significant share contributes to proper implementation of the CFP, particularly for data collection and science-based needs, and ...

The €6 396.6 million European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) is the smallest of the European Structural and Investment Funds for the 2014-2020 period, but it is the major financial tool supporting the EU common fisheries policy (CFP). Slightly less than half of the Fund is dedicated to promoting sustainable fisheries and to fostering sustainable aquaculture. Another significant share contributes to proper implementation of the CFP, particularly for data collection and science-based needs, and control and enforcement of rules. A small part of the EMFF is also aimed at supporting an integrated maritime policy (IMP) for the EU.

Europejska Agencja Straży Granicznej i Przybrzeżnej

30-06-2016

Wniosek dotyczący rozporządzenia ustanawiającego Europejską Agencję Straży Granicznej i Przybrzeżnej („Agencję”) ma zostać poddany pod głosowanie w pierwszym czytaniu podczas lipcowego posiedzenia plenarnego Parlamentu Europejskiego a następnie przekazany do przyjęcia przez Radę. Tekst uzgodniony podczas negocjacji trójstronnych między obiema instytucjami rozszerza uprawnienia Agencji w zakresie operacji powrotowych, zarządzania migracją, zwalczania przestępczości transgranicznej oraz akcji poszukiwawczych ...

Wniosek dotyczący rozporządzenia ustanawiającego Europejską Agencję Straży Granicznej i Przybrzeżnej („Agencję”) ma zostać poddany pod głosowanie w pierwszym czytaniu podczas lipcowego posiedzenia plenarnego Parlamentu Europejskiego a następnie przekazany do przyjęcia przez Radę. Tekst uzgodniony podczas negocjacji trójstronnych między obiema instytucjami rozszerza uprawnienia Agencji w zakresie operacji powrotowych, zarządzania migracją, zwalczania przestępczości transgranicznej oraz akcji poszukiwawczych i ratowniczych. Wzmocniono w nim też gwarancje praw podstawowych i rozliczalność Agencji przed PE i Radą. Jeżeli państwo członkowskie sprzeciwi się decyzji Rady o udzieleniu pomocy, stwarzając zagrożenie dla strefy Schengen, pozostałe kraje UE mogą przywrócić tymczasowo kontrole na granicach wewnętrznych.

Public expectations and EU policies - Protection of external borders

30-06-2016

An overwhelming majority of EU citizens expect the EU to intervene more in the protection of external borders than at present. An area without internal frontiers, in which the free movement of persons is ensured with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls is envisaged in the Lisbon Treaty. EU powers regarding border control are shared with the Member States, and based on solidarity between Member States, including financial implications. Steps towards further EU action in this ...

An overwhelming majority of EU citizens expect the EU to intervene more in the protection of external borders than at present. An area without internal frontiers, in which the free movement of persons is ensured with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls is envisaged in the Lisbon Treaty. EU powers regarding border control are shared with the Member States, and based on solidarity between Member States, including financial implications. Steps towards further EU action in this area include: the recent revision of the Schengen Borders Code; the revised proposal for an entry-exit system; a draft regulation setting up a European Border and Coast Guard System with a 'right to intervene' in situations at the border requiring urgent action following a Council decision.

The Proposal for a European Border and Coast Guard: Evolution or Revolution in External Border Management?

15-03-2016

This analysis, which critically examines the Commission proposal for the establishment of a European Border and Coast Guard, was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee. The proposal significantly reinforces Frontex’s regulatory and operational tasks and provides the Agency with an additional supervisory role. The proposal does not amend the fundamental premise of operational cooperation at the ...

This analysis, which critically examines the Commission proposal for the establishment of a European Border and Coast Guard, was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee. The proposal significantly reinforces Frontex’s regulatory and operational tasks and provides the Agency with an additional supervisory role. The proposal does not amend the fundamental premise of operational cooperation at the external borders, reserving executive enforcement powers to the Member States. Nonetheless, the concept of shared responsibility in the absence of shared accountability increases existing fundamental rights concerns.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Jorrit Rijpma (Europa Institute, Leiden Law School, the Netherlands) ; Melanie Fink and Maarten Schippers (research assistants)

Hotspots and emergency relocation: State of play

03-03-2016

The year 2015 saw a record number of migrants arriving in the European Union: Frontex reports that 1.83 million irregular border crossings were detected at the EU's external borders, 1.04 million of them in Greece and Italy. According to Eurostat, 1.29 million asylum applications were lodged in the EU in 2015. Based on the current Dublin system, applicants' first country of entry is responsible for processing their asylum claims. This puts enormous pressure on frontline states. The Commission's communication ...

The year 2015 saw a record number of migrants arriving in the European Union: Frontex reports that 1.83 million irregular border crossings were detected at the EU's external borders, 1.04 million of them in Greece and Italy. According to Eurostat, 1.29 million asylum applications were lodged in the EU in 2015. Based on the current Dublin system, applicants' first country of entry is responsible for processing their asylum claims. This puts enormous pressure on frontline states. The Commission's communication on a European Agenda on Migration includes a proposal for a temporary emergency relocation mechanism to relieve the pressure on overburdened states. In parallel, the Commission has launched a 'hotspot' approach to provide assistance along specific sections of the border, characterised by 'disproportionate mixed migratory flows'. The approach entails temporary intervention by EU agencies such as Frontex, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and Europol to help national authorities guide asylum-seekers towards asylum procedures and irregular migrants towards return procedures. Eleven such hotspots had been identified as of February 2016: six in Italy and five in Greece. Currently only three are fully operational. Although work on the hotspot approach is not yet complete and the relocation process only began in October 2015, stakeholders have already pointed to several shortcomings in how they currently operate. Parliament has insisted that the hotspot approach should not undermine the fundamental rights of any persons, refugees or otherwise, arriving at Europe's shores.

Europejski system straży granicznej i przybrzeżnej

08-12-2015

Oczekuje się, że w dniu 15 grudnia 2015 r. Komisja przedstawi wniosek w sprawie utworzenia europejskiego systemu straży granicznej i przybrzeżnej. Zgodnie z konkluzjami Rady przyszły system będzie budowany w oparciu o mandat i doświadczenia Europejskiej Agencji Zarządzania Współpracą Operacyjną na Zewnętrznych Granicach Państw Członkowskich Unii Europejskiej (Frontex). Chociaż istnieje szeroka zgoda co do konieczności wzmocnienia ochrony zewnętrznych granic UE, pozostaje ważne pytanie o strukturę ...

Oczekuje się, że w dniu 15 grudnia 2015 r. Komisja przedstawi wniosek w sprawie utworzenia europejskiego systemu straży granicznej i przybrzeżnej. Zgodnie z konkluzjami Rady przyszły system będzie budowany w oparciu o mandat i doświadczenia Europejskiej Agencji Zarządzania Współpracą Operacyjną na Zewnętrznych Granicach Państw Członkowskich Unii Europejskiej (Frontex). Chociaż istnieje szeroka zgoda co do konieczności wzmocnienia ochrony zewnętrznych granic UE, pozostaje ważne pytanie o strukturę, rolę i funkcje przyszłego europejskiego systemu straży granicznej i przybrzeżnej. Konieczne będzie uwzględnienie obaw związanych z kwestią poszanowania suwerenności narodowej, dostępności środków budżetowych oraz przestrzegania praw człowieka.

Migrants in the Mediterranean: Protecting Human Rights

29-10-2015

In reaction to recurrent tragedies in the Mediterranean Sea, the European Union (EU) has adopted a series of measures seeking to improve the protection of migrants trying to reach the borders of the EU by sea and to share responsibility among countries involved by increasing cooperation with transit countries. This study focuses on the existing and planned EU policies and actions to protect the human rights of migrants before entering the EU by sea or after they have left the territory of the EU. ...

In reaction to recurrent tragedies in the Mediterranean Sea, the European Union (EU) has adopted a series of measures seeking to improve the protection of migrants trying to reach the borders of the EU by sea and to share responsibility among countries involved by increasing cooperation with transit countries. This study focuses on the existing and planned EU policies and actions to protect the human rights of migrants before entering the EU by sea or after they have left the territory of the EU. The picture that emerges from the evaluation of EU policies and actions is a mixed one. On the one hand, it cannot be denied that instruments of sea borders surveillance and instruments of cooperation with third countries have now generally included human rights safeguards. On the other hand, implementation, monitoring and control remain problematic. Furthermore, the primary aim of existing EU policies and actions still seems to be the protection of the external borders against so-called ‘illegal’ immigration and the return of illegally staying migrants, rather than the development of effective strategies to protect human rights of migrants and the saving of lives on the Mediterranean. The study therefore offers specific recommendations to ensure a coherent human rights-based EU approach to improve the protection of the rights of migrants aiming to reach the EU.

First measures of the European Agenda on Migration

17-06-2015

The unprecedented influx of migrants on the EU's southern borders, and the large numbers of tragic deaths of people attempting to cross the Mediterranean irregularly, has brought home the need for more effective management of migration to deal with the current situation. Gathered at the special meeting of the European Council on 23 April 2015, Member States' leaders agreed on the urgent need to seek solutions to the escalating situation. The European Commission was tasked with proposing measures ...

The unprecedented influx of migrants on the EU's southern borders, and the large numbers of tragic deaths of people attempting to cross the Mediterranean irregularly, has brought home the need for more effective management of migration to deal with the current situation. Gathered at the special meeting of the European Council on 23 April 2015, Member States' leaders agreed on the urgent need to seek solutions to the escalating situation. The European Commission was tasked with proposing measures for immediate action, as well as policy options for the medium and longer term. On 15 May 2015, the Commission presented its proposal for a European Agenda on Migration, which was followed on 27 May 2015 by the implementation plan for the first measures. This first set of proposals, currently under debate among the Member States as well as various stakeholders, was discussed by the Interior Ministers of the Member States on 16 June 2015 and will subsequently be addressed in the European Council on 25 and 26 June 2015. The European Parliament is preparing an own-initiative report on a holistic approach to migration.

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