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In the context of the update of the European Union Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS), SEA Naval, the SEA Europe permanent working group representing the interests of European naval shipyards, wishes to stress the importance to address a set of priorities in order to face the ever-evolving security threats to Europe’s strategic interests in the maritime domain.
While the current European security environment at sea and on coastal areas is certainly challenged, the EU needs to take action towards the protection of fundamental elements of the maritime law, such as the freedom of navigation, the security of critical maritime infrastructures, including underwater infrastructures e.g. ports, submarine communication cables, strategic lines of communication, submarine power cables, energy networks, offshore energy infrastructures, etc., and the safeguarding of natural resources at sea, both regionally and at the global scale.
Thereupon, is an urgent need for increased coordination of all the stakeholders with the EU Member States to act upon the following priorities that SEA Naval identified:
- To effectively meet the increased EU ambition in the maritime domain, as defined in the Strategic Compass, also vis-à-vis the geopolitical and technological developments affecting maritime security, a comprehensive and holistic EU strategy should be developed with a properly defined investment framework.
- Important aspects to grant this holistic approach are 1) better cross-fertilization of civilian – military applications, 2) increased cooperation between industries and Member States and 3) a properly assessed multiannual planning.
- The rising of new critical maritime domains, such as the underwater critical infrastructures, seabed warfare, hybrid and cyber threats and energy and supply chain security require to be properly considered in the revision of the EUMSS.
- The necessity to take in account maritime dimensions for the new action plan on Military Mobility 2.0 for auxiliary fleet, harbour infrastructure resilience and sea traffic management.
- Encourage Member States to provide concrete and timely proposals to financial institutions aiming at supporting access to finance for maritime security capabilities.
- Need to link the actions of the EUMSS with appropriate funding mechanisms (e.g. dedicated security cluster in Horizon Europe) and monitor the progress made towards the milestones of the EUMSS.
- Increase the synergies between EU research and innovation and development programs (including harmonizing the different legislative frameworks) to exploit and make an efficient use of the EU budget, hence further increasing cross-fertilization actions.