Recently, EUROMARFOR (EMF) has approved the activation framework for this force in the Gulf of Guinea, in order to enhance Maritime Security in the region in support of the Coordinated Maritime Presences (CMP) as an EU initiative.
The four countries that make up the EMF (France, Italy, Portugal and Spain), already regularly deploy their naval units in the Gulf of Guinea and are the main contributors to CMP’s. The presence of the EMF in the Gulf of Guinea would allow the organization of Multi-Cooperative Exercise with the coastal states, likewise as those that the EMF usually develops on an annual basis with countries of the southern Mediterranean basin and the African Atlantic coast (e.g. Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania and Cape Verde).
On September 13, the Director of the EMF Permanent Cell, Colonel Ignacio del Cuvillo Rivero, visited the EU authorities related to CMP in Brussels to inform them of the document approved by the EMF, that prevue how EMF can deploy in the Gulf of Guinea and so, start planning activities this force can carry out in CMP initiative support.
First, he met with the Senior Coordinator (SC) for Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea, Ambassador D. Nicolás Berlanga, who really appreciated the EMF initiative and in a very positive way, and proposed to explore the potentials opportunities that the activation of this force offers to CMP, other EU initiatives and projects in the region.
Then he met with Brigadier General Bart Laurent, Director of the Maritime Area of Interest Coordination Cell (MAICC), who is also the Director of Operations of the European Union General Staff (EUMS), and subsequently had a working meeting with MAICC staff to improve mutual understanding, expose what the EMF can offer to Maritime Security in the region and to the EU CPM initiative, as well as identify activities in which this force would be most effective.
The visit has served to establish contact and create links in order to start to find opportunities and plan activities that the EMF can develop in the Gulf of Guinea, so it can contribute to Maritime Security, improve knowledge of the maritime environment and develop the maritime capabilities of the coastal countries, always in coordination and support of EU initiatives.
Created in 1995, EUROMARFOR is a non-permanent Maritime Force that is activated for specific periods in order to improve capabilities and whose priority objective is to support European Security and Defence requirements in the Maritime domain.
The leadership of EUROMARFOR (COMEUROMARFOR) rotates every two years among the four participating countries. The Admiral of the Fleet, ALFLOT, exercises command of this force from September 2021 to September 2023.
The EMF Permanent Cell, composed of a Director and Representatives of the 4 member countries is in close contact with COMEUROMARFOR and is active in the HQ of the Fleet.