The European Union's Quest to become a Global Maritime Security Provider

Christian Bueger, Timothy P Edmunds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


As part of its global strategy process, in 2016 the European Union (EU) announced its ambition to become a global maritime security provider. In this article we provide a review of how the EU has embarked on this quest and the strategic hurdles it faces in doing so. In many ways the EU has emerged as an influential maritime security actor: It operates multiple naval missions and runs ambitious capacity building programmes in the Western Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and Gulf of Guinea. We argue that the EU has developed a substantial portfolio of activities but continues to struggle with a series of challenges that undermine its success in establishing its role. We identify a series of strategic challenges that policymakers in Brussel are facing. These concern how to achieve coherence across strategies, interests and projects, how to manage relations with NATO and United Kingdom post-Brexit, and how to
address emerging maritime security issues including environmental security at sea, climate change and the protection of critical subsea infrastructure.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalUnited States Naval War College Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2023


  • Maritime Security
  • European Union
  • Maritime security strategy
  • Ocean governance


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