On 15th May, 1995, gathered in Lisbon, the Spanish, French and Italian ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs signed together the founding treaty of the European Maritime Force (EUROMARFOR); Portugal joined them a few months later. Inspired by the Petersburg Declaration (1992), EUROMARFOR is a strong and new military partnership between four European Union nations that are also members of NATO. For 25 years, the allied naval force has carried out missions of maritime security, humanitarian effort and crisis management at sea.
Last September, France took command of the force. The commander of EUROMARFOR is the current commanding officer of the French naval surface force, Vice Admiral Jean-Philippe Rolland. Beyond regular and annual trainings at sea between the four allied navy forces, EUROMARFOR has participated in several important operations during its history. For instance, it has been deployed against terrorism in the Mediterranean Sea in 2002, to maintain peace in Lebanon in 2008 for the United Nations, or against piracy in the Indian Ocean between 2011 and 2015 as part of the European operation ATALANTA.
With France taking command of EUROMARFOR for the 4th time, vice-admiral VAE Rolland underlines that « the Force is an active and singular participant in the security of maritime areas », particularly in the Mediterranean Sea, a strategic zone for Europe. The French navy
’chief of Staff, Admiral Prazuck, states that EUROMARFOR is « an original organization allowing to bring together Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese ships more easily and with a lot of flexibility.