Since 2005, violent attacks on maritime traffic off the Somali coast have been steadily increasing. Somali pirates have managed to establish a unique business model: vessels of all kinds are being hijacked with their crews on board for the sole purpose of gaining ransom. During the last few years, they have been improving their capabilities and skills to such a degree that Jack Lang, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Legal Issues related to Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, has confirmed an industrialization of the phenomenon. Taking into account the plight of the Somali people after more than two decades of internal conflict, the implications of prolonged insecurity and instability for the country and the region, as well as the impact of terrorist activities and organized piracy for its citizens and the European Union’s strategic and economic interests, the EU has tried to tackle the crisis from various angles by instigating what has been labeled a “comprehensive approach”. In this, political dialogue as well as humanitarian and development aid have been complemented not only by efforts to prop up the Somali security sector but also by the first naval operation ever established within the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP: EU Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) Atalanta.
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