Shipping companies ask EU for money and navy against hijackers and pirates

Photo by Shaah Shahidh on Unsplash

European shipowners are very concerned about the increasing number of piracy incidents and the continuing violence in the Gulf of Guinea. According to shipowners, the Gulf of Guinea remains a risky area for piracy and armed robbery.

The latest piracy report from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) shows that the Gulf of Guinea has become increasingly dangerous for seafarers. In the first nine months of 2019, the region accounted for 86% of the 49 crew members taken hostage and 82% of the 70 crew abducted worldwide.

The threats also endanger trade and development both in the region and worldwide, according to the shipping companies. It is time for the EU member states to step up their efforts to strengthen maritime safety in the Gulf, the shipowners say. The ECSA calls on European policymakers to take a number of measures so that ships and crew can operate in a safe environment. The efforts of the EU with the coastal states and the active contributions of its Member States outside territorial waters - such as the deployment of warships - are badly needed to improve the current unsafe situation.

ECSA also reiterated its call for strong financial support from the EU, in a joint campaign with more than 40 European associations and organizations. To achieve a truly climate-neutral, green, integrated, digital transport system accessible to iedereen requires investment and financing. In addition, EUR 750 billion is still needed to complete the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) by 2030, the shipowners say.