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EUCAP Nestor: New Head of Mission Appointed

By Council of the European Union,MBC
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Ms Maria-Cristina Stepanescu, a senior police officer from Romania, was appointed Head of the European Union mission on regional maritime capacity building in the Horn of Africa, EUCAP Nestor. She will take up her duties on 1 September 2016. She takes over from Acting Head Simonetta Silvestri.

This civilian CSDP mission forms part of the EU's comprehensive approach to fighting piracy in the Horn of Africa, alongside the EU Naval Force Somalia and the EU training mission for Somalia. EUCAP Nestor works to reinforce the capacity of Somalia to effectively govern its territorial waters in order to help them fight piracy more effectively. This includes advice, mentoring and training for the coast guard, maritime criminal justice system and coastal police.

Since February 2010, Ms Stepanescu has been a Seconded National Expert/Police Expert to the Civilian Conduct and Planning Capability (CPCC)/EEAS. She has previously held positions such as: Head of the Cooperation - Single Point of Contact/Schengen Department (2008-2010); Head of Programme Development and coordination Department (PDCD), European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo (2005-2007); Policy Officer with the Institute for Research and Crime Prevention, within the General Inspectorate of Romanian Police, Ministry of Interior (2002-2004); Chief Investigator of Gracanica Police Station/Team Leader of Trafficking in Human Beings and Prostitution Unit, Serious and Organised Crime of Pristina Regiona, UN Mission in Kosovo (2000-2002); Policy officer, General Inspectorate of Romanian Police (1998-2000); Intelligence/CID officer, General Inspectorate of Romanian Police (1994-1998).

She has a Masters degree in Sociology and Social Sciences/Implementation of community Justice from Bucharest University, Romania (2000-2002) and a Law Degree from Alxandra Ioan Cuza Police Academy, Bucharest, Romania (1990-1994). She speaks Romanian, English and French.

The decision was taken by the Political and Security Committee.