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

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Here are six bold ideas to accelerate sustainable energy innovation

UK keeps its Brexit plan secret or there is no strategy at all whatsoever?

On World Day to Combat Desertification, UN shines spotlight on ‘true value’ of land

Eating less beef and more beans would cut deaths by 5-7%

The EU Commission implicates major banks in cartel cases, threatens with devastating fines

Agreement reached on digital copyright rules

5 ways for business leaders to win in the 2020s

‘Complacency’ a factor in stagnating global vaccination rates, warn UN health chiefs

Sustainability is now mission critical for businesses. Here’s why

The US is withdrawing from a 144-year-old treaty. Here’s the context

Parliament seals ban on throwaway plastics by 2021

UN chief ‘deeply alarmed’ over military offensive in south-west Syria

EU Parliament: Follow the fraudulent money and confiscate it

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Carbon Price Needed for Climate Change Success

5 amazing schools that will make you wish you were young again

Climate change and health: an everyday solution

Golden Pen of Freedom Awarded to Murdered Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi during World News Media Congress 2019

Meet Alice, the battery-powered plane that could herald the age of electric air travel

Europe had a record year for Measles – and it’s partly down to anti-vaccine campaigners

EU Budget 2019 to focus on young people

No hard drivers in sight to remodel the stagnating affairs of the EU

Veteran UN Syria Envoy to step down, pledges to work ‘until the last hour’ for peace

Is the West gradually losing Africa?

Sweden has invented a word to encourage people not to fly. And it’s working

France is about to start giving free breakfasts to disadvantaged schoolchildren

China is the first non-EU country to invest in Europe’s €315 billion Plan

Statistics show the ugly face of youth training schemes

We had the hottest June ever this year – this is what happened around the world

Do the giant banks ‘tell’ Britain to choose a good soft Brexit and ‘remain’ or else…?

UN food agency begins ‘last resort’ partial withdrawal of aid to opposition-held Yemeni capital

As monsoon rains pound Rohingya refugee camps, UN food relief agency steps up aid

Internet of Things: a Force for Good or Evil?

Strengthening the rule of law through increased awareness, an annual monitoring cycle and more effective enforcement

A Sting Exclusive: “Infrastructure can lay the groundwork for the Sustainable Development Goals” by Mr Fulai Sheng, UN Environment Senior Economist

China is sending science students to live with rural farmers – and crop yields are skyrocketing

Forget about growth without a level playing field for all SMEs

Here are 10 of Nelson Mandela’s most inspirational quotes

Fake news: What it is, and how to spot it

Finland should do more to improve job prospects of low-skilled youth

2014 budget: The EU may prove unable to agree on own resources

Opening Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Yang Yanyi, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU at the Chinese Fashion Night

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “European unity and cooperation is being called on question”, Vice President Joe Biden criticizes from Davos

Thursday’s Daily Brief: dire living conditions in Idlib, migrants at US southern border, end in sight for trachoma, Human Rights Council

Why South Africa is on a path of economic renewal

Can a Bavarian Oktoberfest beer indulger bring down the Berlin government?

Armenia should take vigorous measures against entrenched corruption

Why CEOs need to become activists in sustainability

Preserving biodiversity vital to reverse tide of climate change, UN stresses on International Day

Chernobyl nuclear disaster-affected areas spring to life, 33 years on

The Dead Sea is drying up, and these two countries have a plan to save it

European Youth Forum @ European Business Summit 2014: European Youth Unemployment

Who is to pay for Trump’s trade war against China?

Is it too soon to hope for a tobacco free Romania?

‘Virtual Biopsy’ device detects skin tumours in 15 minutes

The Schengen area is at a crossroads

The Commission neglects the services sector and favours industry

Yesterday’s “jokes” and sarcasm by Digital Single Market’s Vice President Ansip on EU member states’ right to protect their telco markets

Draghi sees inflationary bubbles

MWC 2016 LIVE: Mobile Connect availability hits 2B

Is Europe misjudging its abilities to endure more austerity and unemployment?

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 )

Connecting to %s