Since the creation of the European Union’s (EU) Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), the Union has launched three naval operations under this framework. The inclusion of maritime security and anti-piracy operations increasingly shows that EU security and defence cooperation has acquired a naval dimension (Nováky, 2022, pp. 56-57). The three designated naval operations undertaken through CSDP measures are Operation Atlanta (EU NAVFOR), a counter-piracy operation to protect maritime traffic off the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean; Operation Sophia (EU NAVFOR Med), which sought to combat the network of human smugglers and traffickers in the Central Mediterranean from 2015 to 2020; and Operation IRINI (EUNAVFOR MED IRINI), which is focused on the enforcement of the United Nation’s arms embargos against Libya since 2020 (Nováky, 2022, p. 57).
During its meeting on 24th June 2014, the Council of the European Union (EU) adopted the document, proposed by the Greek Presidency, concerning the European Union Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS), which lays out the framework for operations aimed at effectively facing the challenges related to maritime transport security. The EUMSS Action Plan was adopted on 16th December 2017 to safeguard the EU's interests and protect its member states (MS) and citizens. This plan addresses risks and threats in the global maritime domain, including organised and cross-border crime, threats to freedom of navigation, threats to biodiversity, unregulated fishing, or environmental degradation due to illegal or accidental discharges.