The European Union’s Actorness in South Atlantic

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This paper aims to address the maritime dimension of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. Maritime crimes, blue growth and maritime governance have drawn the European Commission’s attention. As a result, the EU has shaped into a global maritime security provider. The Union has advanced with a normative, comprehensive, and cross-sectoral approach to address the asymmetric challenges of maritime security. The South Atlantic has been one of the regions where the EU acts, especially in the Gulf of Guinea. The EU initiatives, such as Critical Maritime Routes Gulf of Guinea (2013), the Gulf of Guinea Strategy (2014) and the Declaration on Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Cooperation (2017) are some examples of the growing presence of the European organization. Therefore, taking the period from 2008 to 2022 as the timeframe, the research question is the following: “How does the evolution of the EU’s role in the South Atlantic has helped to enhance its maritime security actorness? The objectives are to identify how the EU perceives its role in the South Atlantic and how its behaviour reinforces its maritime actorness and makes itself stand out as a maritime security actor in the region. To do so, the research employs the Role Theory as a theoretical framework and the Critical Discourse Analysis as a methodological tool that will be complemented by semi-structured interviews.

Keywords: Maritime Security, EU actorness, South Atlantic

Laura C. Ferreira-Pereira | University of Minho, Portugal

Laura C. Ferreira-Pereira is Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Minho and Visiting Professor of the University of São Paulo. She has published extensively on EU’s foreign policy (CFSP/CSDP) and Portuguese foreign and security policy in the journals International Politics, Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of European Integration, Cooperation and Conflict, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Global Society, European Politics and Society, and European Security, among others; and in several edited volumes. She is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Contemporary Politics, Global Society and European Review of International Studies.


Daniella da Silva Nogueira de Melo | University of Minho, Portugal

Phd candidate in Political Science and International Relations