On the 7th and 8th of February 2019 a workshop was organized in New Delhi, India, by the National Maritime Foundation (NMF) and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on the theme “Securing the maritime commons: India, the European Union and Indian Ocean maritime security”. The workshop provided senior officials and leading experts from the European Union (EU) and India a platform for sharing strategic perspectives on the maritime security risks, challenges and opportunities present in the Indian Ocean region. Supported by the Delegation of the European Union to India through the “European Union Public Diplomacy in India through Policy and Outreach Partnerships” (EUPOP) project, a project implemented by AETS, this event helped identify areas of common interest for future bilateral coordination and cooperation between India and the EU.
The participants mapped existing EU and Indian approaches to, and expertise in, holistic maritime security, specifically in the Indian Ocean, and explored perspectives on how to strengthen Ocean governance in the Indian Ocean.
Both the EU and India are strong promoters of respect for international law, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and are committed to securing sea lines of communications, given that the vast majority of their trade relies on maritime transport. Non-traditional security challenges, such as piracy and armed robbery; transnational organised crime; illegal trafficking; cooperation at sea, including at the operational level as well as in law enforcement and conflict prevention; promotion of confidence building measures; and sharing of experiences in maritime situational awareness, maritime surveillance and information sharing, were discussed at the workshop.
The workshop started with an inaugural address by Vice Admiral Pradeep Chauhan (Retd), Director of the NMF, and the EU Ambassador to India, H. E. Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski. Keynote presentations were made by Mr. Indra Mani Pandey, Additional Secretary (Disarmament & International Security Affairs) from the Ministry of External Affairs and Rear Admiral Marc Aussedat, Deputy Commander in the European Union Naval Force. Sessions on themes including “EU/Indian Perspectives on the Maritime Security Challenges across the Indian Ocean Region”, “Combatting Piracy and Maritime Crime”, “Strengthening Cooperative Maritime Domain Awareness in the Indian Ocean Region’, “Strengthening Ocean Governance, and Regional Organisations” and “A Future India-EU Agenda for Cooperation on Maritime Security in the Indian Ocean Region”.