ROTA, 7th JUNE 2014
EUROMARFOR ACTIVATION CEREMONY
MULTICOOPERATIVE EXERCISE 2014
Distinguished civilian and military authorities,
Commanders, Officers and Enlisted. Ladies and Gentlemen.
I want to first thank you for your presence here today in this ceremony to activate the European Maritime Force to participate in the “MULTICOOPERATIVE EXERCISE 2014”. The exercise will take place close to Casablanca in cooperation with the Royal Moroccan Navy.
This exercise is the continuation of previous EUROMARFOR MULTICOOPERATIVE EXERCISES, the first one in 2007 with Algeria, and the second one, also with Morocco in 2010.
The past 15th of May marked 19 years since the four countries represented here today by their flags and crewmembers, decided to create this force to develop the tasks defined in the Petersberg Declaration; namely, humanitarian missions, peace keeping, crisis management and peacemaking.
It would be long and tedious to list here today all the activations and EUROMARFOR successes achieved over those years; all thanks to the commitment and collaboration of the four nations.
Allow me just to highlight that since its creation in 1995, the EUROMARFOR has been activated 41 times for exercises, and 17 times to participate in real world operations.
In 2014 alone, this will be the third time that EUROMARFOR is activated.
The first, which began on 6th December 2013 and concluded on April 6th 2014 allowed, once again, the contribution of our nations to Operation ATALANTA in the fight against piracy under the flag of the EUROMARFOR, rending credence to our commitment to the European Union.
During that rotation the intervention of one of our units prevented the hijacking of a ship ending with the detention and subsequent prosecution of 5 Somali pirates.
This is the proof that our contribution and effort to Maritime security is still needed in that strategic region of intense maritime activity.
The second activation took place from 12th to 24th May to participate in exercise ITALIAN MINEX where our minehunters have had the opportunity to train in this important area of naval warfare.
I mentioned that today we begin the third period of activation of the EUROMARFOR in 2014; but there will be still a fourth time, as the European Union Military Committee has recently approved the participation of our units in Operation ATALANTA for the next rotation starting August 6th . There, under Italian command for this period, the EUROMARFOR flag will be hoisted again.
That said, it would appear that the activation before us today is less relevant, eclipsed by other exercises and operations.
That would be very far from reality.
The main Political Objectives of EUROMARFOR include cooperation with Mediterranean Dialogue and 5+5 initiatives.
That is the reason why the objectives for the MULTI-COOPERATIVE EXERCISE 2014 are defined as:
- to promote EUROMARFOR and to strengthen the relationship among Mediterranean Initiative Countries;
- to enhance the co-operation of EUROMARFOR with the Royal Moroccan Navy in confronting international security challenges;
- to set up procedures that allow preparation and execution of common maritime activities;
- to improve integration and interoperability in a multinational environment;
- Conduct training activities.
These objectives are based on the belief that collaboration and dialogue for mutual understanding are the essential foundation on which to build security and stability in our environment, particularly in the Mediterranean Sea; the sea that is a common interest for all EUROMARFOR nations.
I encourage you to put all your effort into meeting the objectives in a spirit of cooperation and understanding with the Royal Moroccan Navy.
In the accomplishment of these tasks, I wish you fair winds and following seas.
Admiral Santiago BOLÍBAR PIÑEIRO