Deeply concerned by the outbreak of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast, the Council decided to launch a European Union military operation in support of UN Security Council Resolutions 1816, 1814 and 1838, to contribute to the improvement of maritime security off the Somali coast as part of the European Union's overall action to stabilise Somalia.
This military operation, called EU NAVFOR Somalia (operation "Atalanta"), will be conducted in support of UN Security Council Resolutions 1814 (2008), 1816 (2008), 1838 (2008) and 1846 (2008) in order to contribute to:
* the protection of vessels of the WFP (World Food Programme) delivering food aid to displaced persons in Somalia;
* the protection of vulnerable vessels cruising off the Somali coast, and the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast.
This operation, which is the first EU maritime operation, will be conducted in the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).
The Council had already established in September a coordination cell in Brussels (EU NAVCO) to support surveillance and protection operations led by certain Member States in Somalia and off the Somali coast.