The Sahel has a prominent place in European Union policy. Europe has numerous interests in the region, ranging from combating security threats, terrorism, organised crime and illegal migration to assuring energy security.
The intensification of the crisis in Mali has highlighted the risk of instability in the region's countries and confirmed the relevance of the regional approach taken in the European Union's strategy for the Sahel, which the Council adopted in March 2011. The impact of the crisis on bordering countries, particularly Niger, calls for a firm response from the security forces.
EUCAP Sahel Niger, the CSDP civilian mission launched at the request of Niger's government in the summer of 2012, is an important element of the European Union's Sahel strategy.