The EU promotes international cooperation, maritime multilateralism and the rule of law at sea.
Outside national waters, safe and secure seas and oceans are a shared, international responsibility, especially as the bulk of the world’s trade depends on transport by sea. Without cooperation between nations and collaboration between sectors, the rule of law at sea is weakened and the stability of the global trading system is threatened. Maritime security, and the ability for goods to flow freely, is a shared concern for the EU and ASEAN. Especially since threats are complex and interconnected, no nation acting alone can succeed in responding to smuggling, piracy, illegal immigration, and other forms of transnational crime. Respect for principles based on shared, transparent and consistent rules in international waters – and the stability that brings – is central to the mutually beneficial partnership between the EU and ASEAN.
As transnational threats require determined and collaborative action, focus areas of the EU-ASEAN Plan of Action 2018-22 on enhancing Maritime Security Cooperation (MSC) include:
- sharing knowledge and expertise in the sustainable joint management of marine resources
- combatting sea piracy, armed robbery against ships, hijacking and arms smuggling
- maritime safety and search and rescue.