EU Capacity Building Mission in Somalia
(EUCAP Somalia)

Updated: February 2017

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, Somalia, Seychelles and Tanzania).

In 2015, activities in all states except Somalia were phased out and the Headquarters were relocated from Djibouti to Somalia. In December 2016, the Mission was rebranded as EUCAP Somalia and given a new 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 currently has personnel located in Somalia, at the Mission Headquarters in Mogadishu, the Field Offices in Hargeisa (Somaliland) and Garowe (Puntland), while maintaining an administrative Back Office in Nairobi.



  • Theater – Somalia
  • Headquarters: Mogadishu,
  • Starting Date: July 2012
  • Head of Mission: Maria-Cristina Stepanescu
  • Planned capacity: 125 international and 40 national staff
  • Contributing states: 15
  • Mission Budget: € 22,95 million (01/03/2017-28/02/2018)

Mandate and activities

The Mission contributes to the establishment and capacity building of Somali federal and regional maritime civilian law enforcement capability. A key aim is to assist Somali federal and regional authorities in carrying out the normal suite of coast guard functions and policing the coastal zone on land and at sea.

The Mission provides strategic level advising, mentoring and instances of specialised training, including in specific rule of law and security niches such as police-prosecutor cooperation and law drafting, which are necessary to improve maritime security. The Mission cooperates with the Federal Government of Somalia, as well as with the Puntland and Somaliland authorities.

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, as well as on delivering capacity building activities to maritime civilian law enforcement agencies, the judiciary and prosecutors, through advisers and embedded experts. EUCAP Somalia’s main counterparts are the Somali Police Force Maritime Police Unit (MPU) in Mogadishu, the Somaliland Coast Guard, the Bosasso Port Police as well as Ministries of Interior and Justice, Attorney General’s Offices, the police, prosecutors and judges at federal and state level. 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). 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.

EUCAP Somalia has assisted the Federal Government’s National Security Office in drafting a Coast Guard Options Paper, a draft National Maritime Threat Assessment and a draft National Maritime Security Plan, as part of Somalia’s implementation of maritime security aspects of the National Security Policy. It has supported the development of a draft Somaliland Coast Guard Law. EUCAP Somalia has supported cooperation between judges, prosecutors and police services to address maritime crime and strengthen the maritime criminal justice chain. In close coordination with Oceans Beyond Piracy and UNODC, the Mission has mentored personnel assigned to the Interim Operations Room at the Somaliland Coast Guard base in Berbera. The Mission supports the Police Professional Development Board (PPDB) in Mogadishu, a permanent platform for the harmonisation, review and evaluation of maritime police trainings and curricula, as well as the refurbishment of the Police Academy in Mogadishu. Together with EU NAVFOR Atalanta and the UN Assistance Mission to Somalia (UNSOM), the Mission delivered a Joint Maritime Security Seminar on board the EU NAVFOR Flagship Tromp in Berbera Port. In partnership with UNODC, through annual Joint Work Plans, EUCAP Somalia contributes to help develop the operational capability of the Maritime Police Unit in Mogadishu, Somaliland Coast Guard and the Bosasso Port Police.

The EU’s Comprehensive Approach to Fighting Piracy

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 EU has taken substantial steps – through political dialogue and active engagement, Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) Missions and targeted development cooperation assistance – to implement this strategic framework. In 2015 the EU adopted the Horn of Africa Regional Action Plan, which focuses in particular on migration and forced displacement, violent extremism, and implications of the broader geopolitical framework.

EUCAP Somalia carries out its activities within the context of the EU’s comprehensive 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 Operations 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 (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 such as the United Nations, in particular UNSOM, UNODC and UNDP, the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and 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

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