EU’s there is economic interests or the security
EU’s reasons behind the EU NAVFOR mission go beyond the simple humanitarian motives. Somali’s problem with piracy is of (in)direct influence over the EU’s foreign policy. The negative externalities caused by this two decade problem amount to surges of refugees and organized crime. In addition, the region threatens EU’s fishing and shipping interests (Gegout, 2009, p. 407; Nováky, 2015, pp. 6f). Large portion of the EU’s conflict management policies in Africa are being initiated by France, which deserves some special attention5. EU’s conflict management mechanism are after all used by countries who seek to strengthen the foreign and security component of the Union and mobilize EU-level actors. Despite being only an intergovernmental operation, EU NAVFOR, as a conflict resolution mechanism provides active support for the region. Operation “Atalanta” represents a singular success, something that has never been achieved before or since (Percy & Shortland, 2013, p. 563). However, the impact of the mission is still limited due to the multi-layered relationship of the Union. EU, is after all an economic organization, with limited foreign policy and military competences. Its missions are mostly initiated by one or several more powerful states (as it was the case with Somalia, namely France and Spain) and in many cases lack consistency. As a result, EU’s approach is criticized or individual member state intervention is preferred over EU intervention (Gegout, 2009, pp. 403f). Its approach of quiet diplomacy, focusing its foreign policy/intervention on human rights and good governance (rule of law), appears to lack the required tools to be considered as viable force. It appears that its capacities go beyond its capabilities to establish a long term solutions and structures. Moral reasons alone are not sufficient to trigger an EU response, however, when there is economic interests or the security costs are low the Union is willing to act. Consequently, its goal is to exercise economic, instead of political power. In any case, the role of the European Union as an international actor cannot, and should not, be undermined. Its influence is still overarching, touching upon many aspects of the society in many different regions. Finally, what EU strives for is to create a space for “African solutions, for African problems” (see Olsen, 2009, 256; Rein, 2015, pp. 201f). When analyzing effectiveness and legitimacy, we can conclude that EU’s comprehensive approach in Somalia is working. The containment of piracy shows positive signs, by reducing the number of attacks and hostages held. However, the root of the crisis remains to be tackled, which asks for additional efforts on all sides, regional actors, local population and the international community (Ehrhart & Petretto, 2014, pp. 190-192).In order to achieve these goals, EU via its conflict management policies established agreements with Somalia’s neighboring countries and used its financial instruments and comprehensive approach to find an acceptable resolution to the issue. Even though, the jury is still, the visible success of “Atalanta” nourishes success. EU needs to continue to pursue governance, rule of law, security and economic development in Somalia, but also for the region as whole. The road for this long-term goal might take time, but it follows the commitment and logic of EU’s project and its foreign policy.