1. The Council adopts today the annexed Gulf of Guinea Action Plan 2015-2020 that outlines the European Union's support to the efforts of the region and its coastal states to address the many challenges of maritime security and organised crime. As with the Strategy, adopted on 17 March 2014, this Action Plan reasserts the importance which the European Union attaches to continuing the close cooperation with partners across Western and Central Africa, in taking all appropriate measures to combat maritime crime, including piracy and armed robbery at sea, illegal fishing, smuggling of migrants and trafficking of human beings, drugs, and arms, and to address the underlying causes to foster long-term security and stability in the region.
2. The Council underlines that the Action Plan aims at providing support both at the regional and national levels, to the ongoing efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC), as well as to the Signatory States to the Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships, and illicit maritime activity in West and Central Africa, adopted at the June 2013 Heads of State Summit in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The implementation of the Action Plan is intended to reinforce intra-regional cooperation as well as to increase the level of coordination among the EU and its Member States, and international partners. The Council stands ready to assist West and Central African coastal states to achieve long lasting prosperity through an integrated and cross-sectoral approach, linking the importance of good governance, rule of law, and the development of the maritime domain to enable greater trade cooperation, and job creation for the countries in the region.
3. The Council invites the HR and the Commission, in close consultation with Member States, to start implementing the Gulf of Guinea Action Plan, taking into account the EU Maritime Security Strategy and its Action Plan, and in close cooperation with the region itself, and key international partners. In this regard, it looks forward to the appointment of an EU Senior Coordinator for the Gulf of Guinea. The Council will revert to the matter as appropriate.