2022 Assembly


EU Foreign Ministers' Plans to Establish a Naval Force to Combat People Smugglers


Federica MogheriniEU Foreign Ministers on 18 May 2015 approve plans to establish a naval force to combat people smugglers operating from Libya.
The European Union is struggling to cope with the tens of thousands of illegal migrants from Africa and the Middle East, crossing the Mediterranean Sea for the safety of Europe. RENATE supports the rehabilitation of these desperate migrants, uniting with Pope Francis, calling for safe passage and refuge for them.
So far this year, the United Nations estimates that as many as 60,000 have tried to make the dangerous crossing, often facilitated by traffickers as they flee conflict or dire poverty in  Syria, Nigeria, Somalia and Eritrea. Many pay their traffickers as they travel in unseaworthy boats, risking their lives for safety and better life.
The Mediterranean naval mission is due to commence in June 2015, with the aim to disrupt the smugglers. It also aims to ensure each EU State adopts a national quota (18% Germany; 14%; 12% Italy; 9% Spain. UK has refused any quota) in order to accept the migrants, thereby easing the pressure on Italy, Greece and Malta.
EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini (pictured) called the approval of the plans “an absolute record” and is hopeful that member states will cooperate in order to finally put an end to the business model of the traffickers.
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Adapted and prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person.