EU Capacity Building Mission in Somalia
(EUCAP Somalia)

Updated: April 2018

Mission background

In July 2012, the European Union launched EUCAP Nestor, a civilian maritime capacity building Mission operating in four states across the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean (Djibouti, Seychelles, Somalia and Tanzania).

In 2015, activities in all states except Somalia were phased out and the Mission Headquarters was relocated from Djibouti to Somalia. In December 2016, the Mission was rebranded as EUCAP Somalia and given a new, broadened civilian maritime security mandate: to assist Somalia in strengthening its maritime security capacity in order to enable it to enforce maritime law more effectively.

The Mission has personnel located in Somalia at the Mission Headquarters in Mogadishu and at the Mission Field Offices in Hargeisa (Somaliland) and Garowe (Puntland), while maintaining an
administrative Back Office in Nairobi.



Theatre – Somalia
Headquarters: Mogadishu
Starting Date: July 2012
Head of Mission: Maria-Cristina Stepanescu
Authorised strength: 125 international and 40 national staff
Contributing states: 8
Mission Budget: € 27 million (01/03/2018 – 31/12/2018)

Mandate and activities

The Mission contributes to the resilience and capacity building of Somali federal and regional maritime civilian lawenforcement capability under local ownership. The central aim is to advise the Somali federal and regional authorities in the development of the normal suite of coast guard and maritime policing functions in the coastal zone on land and at sea. The Mission provides strategic-level advising,
mentoring and some specialised training, which includes specific rule of law and security niches, such as policeprosecutor cooperation and law-drafting. This ensures a focus on the development of a resilient and sustainable maritime security architecture. The Mission cooperates with the Federal Government of Somalia, in addition to the Puntland and Somaliland authorities, whilst developing relationships with other Federal Member States.

The Mission’s operational activities focus on providing support to the development and implementation of maritime civilian law enforcement related policy, legislative and institutional frameworks, in addition to capacity building activities of civilian maritime law enforcement agencies, the judiciary and prosecutors. EUCAP Somalia’s main counterparts are the Somali Police Force Maritime Police Unit (SPF MPU) in Mogadishu, the Somaliland Coast Guard and the Bosasso Port Police, as well as Ministries of Interior, Justice and Fisheries, Attorneys General’s Offices, police, prosecutors and judges, at federal and state level. The Mission also supports strategic Somali maritime security mechanisms, notably the National Maritime Coordination Committee (NMCC) and the Maritime Security Coordination Committee (MSCC). The Mission’s strategic advice, mentoring and training are complemented by the coordination and facilitation of specialised operational training provided by other partners, in particular the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the AMISOM Marine Unit. Furthermore, the Mission works in close cooperation and coordination with other EU instruments and international partners to respond more effectively to Somali priorities and support the implementation of a comprehensive national maritime strategy. The Mission promotes Human Rights and gender equality in its capacity building programmes.

EUCAP Somalia has assisted the Federal Government’s National Security Office in developing strategic options for a Federal Coast Guard Model, a draft National Maritime Threat Assessment, and a draft National Maritime Security Plan as part of Somalia’s implementation of maritime security aspects of its National Security Policy. The Mission has supported the development of a draft Somaliland Coast Guard Law. EUCAP Somalia has supported cooperation between judges, prosecutors and policing to address maritime crime and strengthen the maritime criminal justice chain and organised Law Drafting exercises.In close coordination with partners, the Mission has facilitated the participation of the Somali MPU in an international maritime exercise in the Horn of Africa (CUTLASS Express). The Mission supports the Police Professional Development Board (PPDB) in Mogadishu, a permanent platform for the harmonisation, review and evaluation of maritime police training courses and curricula. Through a project financed
by EUCAP Somalia, a classroom at the Police Academy in Mogadishu has been refurbished to create a modern learning environment. Together with EU NAVFOR Atalanta and the UN Assistance Mission to Somalia (UNSOM), the Mission has delivered a Joint Maritime Security Seminar on board EU NAVFOR Flagship Tromp in Berbera Port. In partnership with UNODC, through an annual Joint Work Plan, EUCAP Somalia contributes to help develop the operational capability of the Somali Police Force Maritime Police Unit in Mogadishu, the Somaliland Coast Guard, and the Bosasso Port Police.

The EU’s Comprehensive Approach to the Horn of Africa

The EU attaches great importance to close cooperation with partners across the Horn of Africa region and in using all available instruments to support and encourage peace, stability, sustainable growth and prosperity throughout the Horn of Africa. The nascent Maritime Police Development Project, initiated in 2017 and jointly led by the Mission and the EU Delegation to Somalia supported by the EU Commission exemplifies the Integrated Approach. The EU has taken substantial steps – through political dialogue and active engagement, Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions and development cooperation assistance – to implement a strategic framework. EUCAP Somalia and complementary capacity building programmes continue to significantly contribute to regional security and stability, in line with the EU Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa and the relevant EU Regional Action Plan 2015-2020.

EUCAP Somalia conducts its activities in the framework of the EU’s Intergrated Approach to the Horn of Africa, which comprises a broad set of activities (political, diplomatic, development, security and humanitarian). The Mission complements the other CSDP mission and operation in the region, EU NAVFOR Atalanta and the EU Military Training Mission (EUTM) Somalia, as well as EU programmes funded under the Union’s Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) (Critical Maritime Routes Programme – CMR) and the European Development Fund (Regional Maritime Security Programme – MASE). The Mission also works closely with key international and regional organisations, including the United Nations, in particular UNSOM, UNODC and UNDP, the African Union, the InterGovernmental
Authority on Development (IGAD), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in addition to NGO
Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP).


The European Union’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) includes the gradual framing of a common defence policy which might in time lead to a common defence. The CSDP allows the Union to develop its civilian and military capacities for crisis management and conflict prevention at international level, thus helping to maintain peace and international security, in accordance with the United Nations Charter. The CSDP includes a strong conflict prevention component.

Based in Brussels, the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC) is the permanent operational headquarters responsible for an autonomous operational conduct of civilian CSDP operations. Under the political control and strategic direction of the Political and Security Committee and the overall authority of the High Representative, the CPCC ensures the effective planning and conduct of civilian CSDP crisis
management operations, as well as the proper implementation of all mission related tasks.

More information and background documents available on and


 Tel: +252 612 046 204 Somalia             Tel: +254 727 106 645 Nairobi