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EU leads international counter piracy efforts

From January to December 2014, the European Union will assume the chairmanship of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) with Maciej Popowski, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) as EU chairperson. The chairmanship of the Contact Group is a joint endeavour of the EEAS and the European Commission and will continue the work carried out in 2013 under the chairmanship of the United States.

While the number of hostages has gone down from more than 700 in 2011 to around 50 today, the European Union is strongly committed to bringing this number down to zero: zero ships and zero seafarers in the hands of Somali pirates.

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President Catherine Ashton said: "Pirate attacks over the past year have dropped by 95%, but the fight against piracy is not yet won. It is vital that the international community continues to work together to stamp out piracy and consolidate the gains we have already made".