The EU council identifies terrorism, piracy and the proliferation of weapons as main issues of concern in a country that hosts one of the most active terrorism groups in the world, the Al Shabaab.
Addressing a news conference in Nairobi, Nick Westcott, Managing Director for EU Relations with Africa said the EU believes that the Djibouti peace process remains the best bet for establishing peace building and stability in Somalia and should be supported by the government there.
The Djibouti peace process is a United Nations supported process that brings together several opposition groups in Somalia but has not achieved much success.
Westcott said the desire of the EU is to see the Somali leadership engage more actively with all stakeholders, including regional administrations and the Transitional Federal Institutions, clan elders, religious leaders, businesspeople, women and the Diaspora, in order to develop a credible and inclusive Somali- owned political process for the benefit of all Somali people. "The Somalia problem cannot be solved by purely military means," he said, adding that EU will continue to support the African Union- led peacekeeping force there. "Peacekeeping efforts must be matched by complementary political efforts by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), including initiatives to demonstrate peace dividends to people in safe areas, " he said.
EU is the principal donor of the peacekeeping efforts in Somalia and is currently training Somalia army personnel in Uganda.
The EU said the decision by the Somali Transitional Federal Parliament to extend its mandate by three years could be a stumbling block to the realization of peace there.
The parliament voted in early February to extend its original mandate that was to end in August this year by three years. "The parliament should focus on implementing the reforms that are necessary to build their legitimacy, representativeness and credibility and without which there can be no extension," he said.
The EU said there should be broader efforts to reengineer the constitutional process, in order to conclude the transitional period. "If it is to have legitimacy, this process should be based on broad participation by the Somali people. The EU supports the role of the UN in facilitating a Somali-led process."
The EU called for more effective use of the current mechanisms of coordination between the Somali authorities and the international community to ensure a common position favorable and conducive to reform and stability.
The EU also called for increased efforts to fight off piracy that has led to hike in sea freight charges and reduced cruise tourists into the East Africa region.
Westcott expressed EU's grave concern over the growing number of people, including seafarers, held hostage, adding that prosecution and detention of pirates are key components of counter- piracy. "The EU agrees on the need for strong support for continued capacity-building in the rule of law and penal detention sectors in Somalia and the wider region, which would also facilitate the conclusion of transfer agreements," Westcott said.
He said focus should also be directed at disrupting the financial flows linked to piracy.
It announced that it will increase its support for Somalia regions such as Somaliland and Puntland to consolidate stable and accountable governance and facilitate them to improve livelihood opportunities and the provision of basic services.