On 01.01.2021, Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/2188 will enter into force, which will extend the mandate of the European Union Naval Force Somalia Operation Atalanta for another two years, until 31 December 2022.
The new mandate also includes some new tasks reinforcing ATALANTA´s role as a maritime security provider in the area and built on its current success in countering piracy and protecting WFP and other vulnerable vessels.
Hence, as of 01.01.21, new non-executive tasks such as IUU fishing, drugs, weapons and charcoal trafficking will be implemented, whilst preparing for the formalization of the executive tasks regarding illegal drugs and weapons trafficking, which will be enforced in a specific area of the Gulf of Aden, once the decision to activate these tasks is taken by the appropriate EU authorities.
These adjustments will increase the Operation’s Maritime Domain Awareness, resulting in a more efficient counterpiracy mission and reinforcing EU NAVFOR´s role as a maritime security provider in line with the objectives of the EU Maritime Security Strategy. They will also reassure the Shipping Industry in supporting freedom of navigation and trade.
The decision was taken based on a holistic and coordinated strategic review of CSDP engagement in Somalia and the Horn of Africa, with the aim to consolidate and strengthen the EU response by further developing the security context and enhancing its role as a security provider, in the context of the EU Global Strategy for the foreign and security policy of the European Union.