EU officially launches its first naval mission against migrant smugglers

Federica Mogherini receives Moussa Faki, Chadian Minister for Foreign Affairs and African Integration (EC Audiovisual Services, 17/06/2015)

Federica Mogherini receives Moussa Faki, Chadian Minister for Foreign Affairs and African Integration (EC Audiovisual Services, 17/06/2015)

The European Union has officially taken a decision yesterday regarding the staggering migrants crisis that is hitting Europe this year. The EU Foreign Ministers meeting in Luxembourg has agreed to launch a mission against migrant-smugglers in Libya, which formally represents the first, big step of the EU in this unprecedented emergency.

Although it will be limited for now to intelligence-gathering because any further move would require UN clearance as well as Libyan consent, the mission is indeed part of a wider European plan to face the wave of migrants making the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea.

“Unanimity and speed”

“We will start implementing the first phase of the operation in the coming days. This covers information-gathering and patrolling on the high seas to support the detection and monitoring of smuggling networks”, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini reportedly underlined, confirming that the first deployments of the mission are expected to start within a week.

High Representative Mogherini also expressed her satisfaction for this initial agreement. “I am impressed by the unanimity and the speed at which we have managed to put this in place”, she stressed.

A European response

Month after month, in the last few years, the migrant crisis has evolved from a problemematic to a dramatic, horrific emergency and it is clear now that EU authorities are finally trying to step up a European response to somehow regain all the time lost.

That’s why EU nations want to get the full operation ready to go as soon as possible, which at this phase is being limited to EU boat planes operating in international waters and skies and participating in rescue actions when needed.

2015 the deadliest year

EU governments have been largely supportive of military action since a proposal was made public for the first time back in April, after more than 800 migrants drowned at the coasts of Italy. That tragedy only represented a small piece of the enormous humanitarian crisis that the Mediterranean is suffering every day.

The French-founded humanitarian non-governmental organization Medecins Sans Frontieres officially said that the year 2015 is feared to become the deadliest year yet for those risking to cross the Mediterranean, with already more than 100,000 asylum seekers having battled with the sea so far.

Invasive actions

There are sights however that something is moving. Last week, two diplomats from EU nations confirmed this by telling the Associated Press that the EU would be using ships, planes and drones for surveillance on the traffickers. At the same time it will be staying away from much more delicate invasive operations, which are expected in later phases of the operation.

According to Reuters, a second phase would then consider boarding ships, arresting smugglers and disabling boats on the high seas, while a third one could even involve similar operations in Libyan waters or Special Forces missions in the mainland.

“Ministers would only be launching phase one, which is essentially intelligence-gathering on the high seas. They would only have a legal mandate to launch phase one in the absence of a Security Council resolution,” one EU diplomat said, as reported by Reuters last week, speaking in conditions of anonymity.

Libyan turmoil

Libya is going through chaos now, and we should be very aware of this. Libya has suffered deep turmoil since dictator Colonel Muammar Gadhafi was deposed and then killed in 2011, a fact that is certainly connected to the EU foreign policy of the late 2000s. There has been just chaos ever since, with a dramatic turn of events last year, when Islamic extremists seized the capital, Tripoli, and set up a rival government.

The total lack of firm interlocutors of the past two years has represented one of the biggest issues for the EU, as there’s basically no one to set a decisive coast-control policy with. The presence of Islamic State’s troops in the shattered country, which are trying to assume control over territory, is moreover worsening the situation, and forcing thousands of Libyans trying to escape to Europe.

High Representative Mogherini underlined the difficulties again yesterday in Luxembourg. “We have discussed that [an agreement with Libya] with the Libyan authorities”, she declared. “It is a process that is linked to the political process. I hope that it can move forward”, she added.

Still long way to go

Earning Libya’s agreement for further steps is still not an easy thing, but it’s clear that the EU and the UN are trying to put extra efforts. More than 20 Libyan representatives were in Berlin for the UN talks, two weeks ago, but many sources reported that the Libyan envoys in the German capital were “very unhappy” with most of the discussed peace proposals.

All in all is a sign that something is moving but still there’s a very complex diplomatic process to be set up and deploy. If Libya will not accept a power-sharing agreement and put an end to years of fighting, any other effort will just go in vain, and no considerable achievement is likely to be reached.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Banks get trillions and the unemployed ECB’s love…

Can Greece’s democratic institutions keep it in Eurozone?

Another doomed EU attempt to interfere in Libya?

ECOFIN: Protecting bankers and tax-evaders

China’s New Normal and Its Relevance to the EU

Deutsche Bank again in the middle of the US-EU economic skirmishes

“C’est la vie”? French recession and unemployment to linger in Eurozone

The true EU unemployment rate may have soared to 21.9%

The European Internet is not neutral and neither is the Commissioner

EU to lead one more fight against climate change at G7 summit

Social Committee teaches Van Rompuy a lesson

Is Europe ready to cooperate with the rest of the world? Can Germany change its selfish policies?

ECB money bonanza not enough to revive euro area, Germany longs to rule with stagnation

A male gynecologist in Iraq: red line violated

The EU stops being soft with 10 Downing Street about Brexit

Greece may offer to China a European gateway

EU-Turkey deal on migrants kicked off but to who’s interest?

JADE Testimonial #3: Sebastian @ Fundraising

Do the EU policies on agro-food smell?

How distorted is the EU labour market by this crisis?

Launch of Pact for Youth: European Youth Forum calls for real business engagement

The strong version of the EU banking union gains momentum

EU deserves the title of the Syrian affair merchandiser

Climate Change Revolution: by-laws for the world

More unemployment and lower wages to make European workers competitive?

A young European voice on Grexit: too high a bill and too big a deal!

Investing in working conditions and quality jobs

Europe rethinking its severe austerity policies

Gender Equality and medicine in the 21st Century: we want the fair share

Austerity lovers and ‘relaxationists’ fight over the EU budget

Youth Guarantee putting young people in jobs

Threats from mammoth banks and Brussels fuel May’s poll rates

From Russia with love: Brussels and Moscow close to an agreement on Ukraine’s gas supplies

Eurozone stagnates after exporting its recession to trading partners

South Eurozone needs some…inflation and liquidity

Assembly of European Regions @ European Business Summit 2014: The European regions on the path to recovery

Is there a chance for the West to win the war on terror?

The race for Driverless vehicles: where is the industry heading?

Eurozone: Economic Sentiment Indicator recovering losses

The European Parliament rewrites the EU budget in a bright day for the Union

Why do thousands of migrants need to be drowned for Brussels to wake up?

Youth Entrepreneurship Issue of the month: JEN, organisers of JADE October Meeting, on why JEs should come together

€5 billion of EU energy efficiency project money spent on “comfort”

The challenges of mental health among the Syrian medical students

Entrepreneurial leadership: what does it take to become a leader?

Minority governments ‘à la mode’ in Europe but can they last long?

Greferendum: the biggest political gaffe in western modern history to tear Europe apart? #Grexit #Graccident

Parliament toughens its position on banking union

What have the banks done to the markets making them unable to bear cheap oil?

ECB offers cheaper money despite reactions from Germany

Fostering intergenerational solidarity and cooperation through age-friendly environments: the right answer to Europe’s demographic challenge

The EU Commission to fight unemployment tsunami with a…scoreboard

Is deflation a real danger for Eurozone?

Eurozone: Bankers-politicians rig keeps robbing taxpayers

How can entrepreneurship tackle the migration crisis in the EU?

What will Germany look like after the next election?

Italian electoral results to change Eurozone climate and weight on the Cyprus issue

Appreciation of euro to continue

MWC 2016 LIVE: Freemium MVNO model a success, claims FreedomPop head

Nitrate pollution of water sources: new impulses for EU Water Policy?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s