The development of a European naval strategy
“Europe’s geography […] has always been one of the primary reasons for Europe’s special relationship with the oceans. From the earliest times, the oceans have played a leading role in the development of European culture, identity and history”. The oceans play a central role in European past, present and future. What is the current naval strategy of the EU and what are its capacities? The following paper first lines out the naval strategy of Europe and the evolution of this strategy since the treaty of Amsterdam. The second part is an analysis of two European naval missions EUNAVFOR Somalia (Operation Atalanta) and EUNAVFOR Med Sophia (Operation Sophia). The analysis points out the relevance of those missions for Europe and compares their execution with the theoretical expectations from naval strategy policy papers of the EU. The EU naval strategy offers a unique approach towards the handling of crisis situation with all possible tools of politics.